Hello beauty, today I am bringing you a slight deviation from the fashion and lifestyle stuff. I’ll be writing from a more personal standpoint and I hope that’s okay.
I don’t know at what point it started becoming hard to talk about my feelings and express the myriad happenings of my life. All I know is that one day, as recently as this month, I knew that I had to stop.
I had to stop guarding my feelings, being dishonest and hiding my truth. What I needed to start doing was work through the trauma I had experienced in the past 4 years, begin embracing my true self with openness and honouring her.
HOW IT STARTED…
This inability to express myself began when I was going through a difficult year in my life: 2017. I’d slowly but surely become reserved; internalising everything as practice of strength and hiding emotions from those I loved.
Expectedly, today this has built up to something undesirable but at the time it was truly a coping mechanism to get through those difficult times. It was a coping mechanism that I hate to admit, worked!
Being secretive about life, saying as little as possible about what was bothering me and blocking out negativity by pushing down frustrations made me resilient.
I carried this on for 2, 3, 4 more years. Today, on what will become the 5th year, my personal relationships are strained and my romantic relationships wither at my staunch intensity. Intensity because I’ve bottled up too much to handle.
While I do appreciate the resilience I earned during those four gruelling years, I missed out on the power of vulnerability. Vulnerability comes in many ways and I mostly identify with the honesty, openness and connection of it right now.
By minimising embarrassment and shame, I sadly missed out on what could have been powerful and cathartic moments in my life. I deeply regret it because I let it go on for too long. Today I am adamant that regret will not be my fortress any longer.
What I have decided to do, quite haphazardly but as I said, a long time coming, is to work on this aspect of my life.
How am I doing that?
BY TAKING BABY STEPS…
Step 1: Stop hiding my truth as a way of avoiding shame.
I’ve started being more open to those that matter to me about how I feel, what’s honestly been going on in my life and what is/has been bothering me.
I want to show up as an *authentic* version of me; a young woman who has been through a lot but is working through it. I am minimising the perfect and idealised version of myself that I had cooked up for the past many years. Instead, I am stepping forward as raw as possible, bearing wounds and scars with meaningful stories to tell.
Step 2: I am forgiving
Forgiveness is a theme that I’ve heard a lot of Christians talk about. I’ve understood it for a long time but I don’t think I’ve done enough in this department.
The inability to let go and let God or forgive people who’ve hurt you is one sure way of blocking the Lord’s blessings in your life.Unforgiveness is a destructive habit that’s heavy and serves no good in fulfilling a great life.
I want to live an amazing life. A big life filled with adventure and beautiful moments but I can’t possibly do that when I am holding onto negative stuff. Hence I’m beginning to work through forgiving not just others but myself. Forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve committed and the disappointment endured.
This has already been so freeing.
Step 3: Anchoring myself in positive practices and being accountable
This has always been something I turn to when I feel lost. I do the things that make me feel better. This was the only thing that I did for a long time out of all these steps but I am so happy that I’m pairing self-care with self-work.
Positive practices in my life include:
visualising + affirmations, being healthy (food and diet), talking walks in the morning or evening (or stretching), journaling, studying, taking in positive content and working on my career each day.
I’ve been holding myself accountable in a healthy way with a Habit Log in my diary (here are some fresh ideas for yours). I have a log for each habit and every day I tick off what I have successfully completed. This little action makes me feel so accomplished so I highly recommend creating a habit log for each day and month.
Step 4: Not being hard on myself
I am notoriously super critical of myself. I am my toughest critic and sometimes that leaves me with mental wounds so I’ve stopped. Instead, I’m being light-hearted with myself by figuring out easy and simple ways to achieve the outcomes I want/need.
My perspective is “everything should be fun and light as possible – no need to be so rigid.”
Additionally, I’ve stopped chasing perfection because that inevitably makes things difficult. Perfection is unattainable so I’ve become okay with the messy aspects of life that I can’t control. Lately I’m into focusing on what I love and can do with what I have. No pressure.
In the end…
I hope to come out of this year a better version of myself, living authentically and no longer rejecting this deep part of myself.
I actually want to be the girl I was before 2017 but BETTER!
What I have shared with the people close to me just this month has left me feeling free, light and less intense. I highly recommend.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. haha. Writing this has been such a pleasure and I hope it’s inspired something in you. Whether it’s to help yourself or someone you care about.