Do you want to know what the single most healing thing I ever did for myself was? I stopped trying to please someone else. (In my case, it was my former spouse). Now, I’m not advocating break-ups and divorces, but I am going to encourage you, in this blog post, to consider the healing power of authenticity.
Being the Real You
When it comes to self-care and self-healing, if you’re busy trying to please others by bending and conforming to their expectations of you (and I’m talking about parents, employers, friends, colleagues and yes, even your kids) then you’re going to have a hard time succeeding. Why? Because when you’re trying to be anything other than the real YOU, then you’re adding copious amounts of unhappiness to each and every day. And this, of course, impacts your vibrational field, which ultimately, will impact your health.
A Story of Recovering from Dis-Ease
Dis-Ease is the perfect word for what it feels like when you’re trying to be someone you’re not. And I’m not making this up! I lived this life for many years – being someone I wasn’t for someone else’s acceptance. In fact, I did everything I could think of to deny my truest wishes in order to comply to what was expected of me as a good wife and companion. But the very worst thing I did was try to suppress a vision for my life that had been dear to my heart since I was a very young child – to travel.
Okay, admittedly, there were years when the urge to travel wasn’t acutely impinging on my happiness. When my son was a child, I was mostly content with being well-rooted to one place. But as he grew, so did the urge to explore the world beyond my own country. Unfortunately, my hubby wasn’t so keen on globe-trotting. In fact, he thought it a somewhat bizarre anomoly that I should so urgently want to go, go GO!
And the more vociferous he got with his, “What’s the matter with you!?” counters to my dreams, the sicker – yes, sicker-as-in-physical-illness I became.
A Hard To Swallow Message
In fact, I was sick to my stomach. I started exhibiting the symptoms of celiac and was pretty much unable to digest food anymore. Energetically speaking, I couldn’t bare to swallow the messages I was hearing. Messages like:
- There’s something wrong with you if you want to travel.
- Being a travel writer is a pipe dream.
- Why can’t you just be normal? and …
- You can’t have both a home and travel
As the years passed, I grew more and more ill. My skin broke out frequently, my guts hurt every single day, and I fell into a deep depression from which I thought I’d never come out of. In short, life sucked – physically, mentally and spiritually.
At some point, I knew I had to do something. I just didn’t know what. I tried therapy, elimination diets, prayer, meditation and plain ole self-medication with wine. None of it did a damn bit of good because I was still trying to be somebody I wasn’t for someone who couldn’t accept me being myself.
So what triggered the healing? Yep, reclaiming ME. I did this by creating new friendships with other folks who valued travel. I also began to try my hand at travel writing, and finally, I actually did a little traveling. Sadly, this spelled the end of my marriage, for my spouse just refused to support the ME who I was becoming. It was a difficult, painful time, for sure. But as difficult as that period was – the sadness, the remorse, the missing … – the feeling was entirely different than the black hole dis-ease I experienced on all levels of my being when I wasn’t being ME.
Ringing a Bell?
If this story is ringing a bell for you, then I urge you to look deeply within and see where in your life you might be ready to reclaim the Real YOU. Maybe you’re doing too much for too many (a sure fire formula for dis-eases like fibromyalgia). Maybe you’re putting off your biggest dreams until ‘the kids grow up’ or until you retire (a great way to trigger structural immobility). Or maybe you’re just believing someone else’s idea of who you SHOULD be (the perfect formula for a chronically sick stomach). Whatever it is, seeking a holistic, spirit-mind-body approach is best – through good nutrition, wise counsel, supportive friends and access to your inner wisdom through meditation, yoga or other contemplative activities.
As for my story today? Well, following several years as a successful travel writer living overseas, I now get to enjoy the best of all worlds – a loving, supportive companion, a warm and beautiful home in the USA, and annual travel to exotic destinations near and far. And my digestion? Excellent! This may not be your idea of an ideal life, but it was and still is mine – my authentic, true self 🙂
Where in your life are you struggling to be fully authentic? What is it time for you to reclaim? Who would you be if you were really and truly YOU? Let me know in the comments below.