Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
– Bréne Brown
Last year was THE year for self reflection and immense personal growth. I read a lot, Bréne Brown books being a few of many that moved me towards the right direction, and I had professional help too. Through the different resources, I learned so much about myself and by doing so, opened my eyes to understanding more of those around me also.
I heard that you can’t truly love others if you don’t love yourself first. Or, you can’t really understand other people if you don’t understand yourself first. Or, you can’t give others joy if you can’t feel that joy coming from within yourself first.
I chuckled inside each time I read the above, and other things similar to them. I’ve got love, understanding, and joy I said to myself. But I was wrong. Well, not completely, but I wasn’t right.
Last year I learned to be intimate with myself. To not be afraid to look deep inside and to the past. I saw a sad and angry little girl me but I also saw this strong and smart adult me too. While I am still a work in progress, I mean we can’t truly stop learning about ourselves, right? I am now at the point where I can look in the mirror and say: Hey, I know you! You are strong, always trying your best, brave, smart, hard working and you know what, I love you just the way you are!
It’s been so wonderful to wake up, see the bit of sun coming through the curtains and feel the sweetest tug of joy in my heart. It’s been liberating to be able to watch a simple show with the girls and laugh my head off with them. It’s been lovely to just listen to my husband share his accomplishments and feel truly happy for him. It feels very peaceful to be able to feel the full range of emotions, even the negative ones.
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
– Bréne Brown
When I was in kindergarten I was bullied. I was kicked, pinched, made fun of, and who knows what else. I had one friend. I always believed that I was bullied because I was different. Because in that school, I was a minority.
I was never bullied again but that one year scarred me. I then became a chameleon when in a group setting. I always felt like I had to be like everybody else so I could be accepted and feel like I belonged.
My husband, unintentionally, taught me to not care what others think. To be a bit braver and to do what I wanted to do. He’s the one who has helped me get this far. I wouldn’t have blogged about crafting or even became a trainer if it wasn’t for him.
I was still though always hard on myself and in a way, a perfectionist. I wasn’t healthily striving. I was working for perfectionism to hide from shame, judgement and blame.
Only after I could see within, accepted my imperfect self, and be kinder to myself that I was able to embrace my vulnerability and Bréne was right to say that
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
The months of self-exploration helped me find not only my true self but also how I wanted to be heard in real life and on social media. While I have no intention of sharing every single detail about myself or the family, I have every intention to always be authentic. While my photos will have all gone through light or heavy editing, the words that come with them will not. The words are my voice. The voice of another imperfect being who is just trying to live a meaningful life and wants to be accepted as she is.