When I was four, I remember sitting near the front porch of my grandmother’s rusty rocking chair, waiting for the sunset, as my mom picked out vegetables from our backyard. As my mom wrapped up the last set of ripped tomatoes, she looked out into the distance, and suddenly froze. Her pupils had dilated, and jaws widened, as if she had just seen a diamond in the rough.
My automatic reaction was to see what it was she had been so memorized by. It was her sister in the most beautiful gown I had ever seen. It fit perfectly on her hourglass figure, glowing skin and long, thick wavy hair. Her piercing blue eyes matched her glimmering off white heals. All in perfect symmetry. It was as if Cinderella had come to life in the blink of an eye.
The concept of beauty in our culture can be both simple and complex. Simple, meaning there’s a universal agreement, that is hardwired in us, on what we consider attractive, valued and worthy. It can be a certain image, personality or lifestyle.
Looking back now at the scene of my aunt, I realized this moment was a seed that was implanted of my fantasies of who I wish to become – beautiful, intelligent, and confident. I longed for the accomplished husband, the perfect children, and a career that didn’t feel like a chore. In other words, the ‘All American Dream’.
It wasn’t long before I was on the brink of reaching that dream- but it came with a price. The price of my sanity. The more that seed grew, the more I lost touch with my true self, others and reality. I had shut myself off from the world and spiraled down a dark tunnel full of chaos, loss and depression, until I hit a wall I could no longer penetrate. I needed help, but it felt as if absolutely no one understood or would understand the agony and life shattering world that was in front of me.
The more I tried to grasp the life I currently had left, the more I felt a deep black gazing hole in my stomach become larger and larger. I felt fake, phony and inauthentic. Looking back, it was the deep childhood pain and shame that was rooted in me, which I had abandoned and neglected when I had once gazed into my aunt’s piercing blue eyes.
The unconditional love, acceptance and respect for who I really was, had been the missing puzzle that I longed for. Not the fancy clothes, shoes, purse, car, or house. It was the death of the ego that had taken over me, the complete destruction and annihilation of my high-horsed drive, pride and need for prestige.
Looking back now, the most heartbreaking of all this had been the destruction I had caused towards the ones I loved. I had projected my own shame, feelings of defectiveness and inferiority on to my own children and husband, which drove us all apart, living a life..or LIE..together where we essentially did not know each other.
Family dinners, gatherings and holiday celebrations seemed mundane and lifeless, with phony smiles and ego-driven lies that spread through and around us. Underneath all the fame, status and wealth, were soul loss, emptiness and feelings of powerlessness that I too once felt.
We live in a world where we overvalue the wrong things. Money, fame, popularity, how many likes, shares or views we’ve got on facebook or instagram. We continue to gain our energy through others, society and the world to fill our painstaking gaping hole that is suppressed, denied and disowned.
It is only through our inner work, and facing our own shadows can we integrate the fragmented parts of ourselves that have been frozen in time. We must essentially pierce through the veil of the false, idealistic lie that we tell others and ourselves.
We are still very much in the infant stages of self-awareness and mental health wellness. The stigma creates a bump in the road but not impossible to overcome. We must come out of the cell trapped in fear, judgment and criticism and we must do it together.
Finding your true and authentic self is a journey that embarks courage, change and growth. It’s easy to follow the crowd and ‘live life that is safe’. But there would be a limit to your true potential.
There’s a quote, by Rumi that has always stood out to me, “Why do you stay in prison, when the doors are wide open?” Don’t stay in the prison that you’ve been in for so long and allow yourself to take the courage to free yourself. Seek the help you need to fulfill the life you deserve and needed all along.
Through my darkest times, if there’s one thing I would’ve changed was to seek guidance from someone that could help me confront my pain, rather than run from it. Precipeace, is an online platform that connects you with a professional mentor based on your unique needs. We emphasize private, convenient, and effective support to help you overcome any barrier to your happiness. Healing can only take place in the presence of a safe, compassionate, understanding and empathetic hand.
It’s time to take the broken pieces of yourself and bridge them back together in wholeness- transformed into to a new, stronger and beautiful you- that has always called out for your presence.
Take care my friends ❤