I believe there is always that one point in our life where we look back and realize that we have no idea who we really are.
My whole life has been a multitude of people pleasing events and it is only when everything began to fall apart that I paid any attention to the truth.
The love of my life left me, unexpectedly.
Even though I have always prided myself on my spirituality and yogic nature, the concept of non-attachment didn’t seem to apply now. All the strength I believed I had seemed to have evaporated as I grasped frantically at the shreds of who I thought I was.
While it is natural to feel abandoned and betrayed, months later I realize that maybe there is more to these feelings than just this one breakup. I finally realize my inner child is also crying out for healing.
This is where I decide I need to start my work.
So I begin to meditate, embracing my inner child, showing her love and starting a difficult conversation. My inner child accepts my love, trusting me. She takes my hand and leads me back, back to where it all began.
She goes back to when she was five years old and desperately trying to fit in with the adults and older cousins at family gatherings. Then one older cousin starts hanging out with her and giving her much needed attention. She feels so grateful and happy for this that she would do anything for it to continue!
He takes her away quietly and tells her it’s a secret game just between the two of them. She doesn’t understand, going along anyway because she feels special. She lets this continue for four years, just to be liked.
She continues along in time, constantly trying to gain approval from her mother yet nothing she does ever seems to be right. She is never good enough but keeps trying anyway, doing any and everything that is asked of her. During her parents’ divorce this intensifies, being the eldest, she has to step up. She is so eager to please them.
I watch, as she gets older, she learns something new about herself, something she is not sure how to deal with. That maybe she like girls and not boys like society and the Catholic Church says she should. She tries to be “normal” denying it, so as not to make God mad at her. Somewhere within this process she gradually begin losing even more of herself.
Eventually the burden is too heavy and she comes out to her mother, but is rejected. She is told how disappointing she is and warned she will pay for her sins. Feeling so alone, wanting to be loved so desperately, she gives of herself unconditionally in all her relationships, even the abusive ones. The selfless pattern continues as she gives and gives just to feel loved.
One day, it comes crashing down. When she gives everything she had to someone but that person decides it is not enough and walks away. There she sits alone. Lost. She begins to cry, feeling deeply betrayed. She blames this person for her pain and suffering and curses them for hurting her and betraying her.
Then she thinks back on all the betrayals she has suffered and begins to think life isn’t worth living because no matter how much of herself she gave, in the end did anybody ever really love her?
After taking this journey with my inner child, holding and comforting her, I come to this life altering realization that I am the only person that betrayed her. The only person that left me was myself. I have searched so hard for love and approval that I failed to see that the one thing I was searching for was myself.
I don’t need anyone’s approval or love. I am love at my source. Following my heart and staying true to myself however, is the only way I can ever realize this. Doing what makes me happy and honoring my feelings. Every time I push aside my own needs to fulfill the needs of others, I betray myself, and my inner child. I divert farther from the truth of happiness. I become so lost from my own path that I become dependent on making other people happy in order to experience this as a transient source of happiness.
Nothing in life is permanent so searching for happiness externally is an exercise in futility. People are fickle creatures and can walk away at a moment’s notice.
I found true happiness when I honored my heart. Lesson learnt. Now I regularly check in with my heart, inner child and the universe to ensure that I’m following my own path.
I follow the path that makes me happy and no longer put other people ahead of me. I no longer keep my opinions quiet either, stepping away from people and dogma that try to oppress me or convince me that my path is wrong. It may not be the easiest path or the most popular path but it is the most rewarding. Every morning the universe smiles, offering little hints ever so often reminding me I’m on the right path. Practicing mindfulness helps me be cognizant of these signs and appreciate them.
I am grateful for who I am now.
I am happy, full of love and my inner child dances in a sunny field.
Author: Krystle Singh
Apprentice Editor: Tammy Novak / Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Len Matthews, Flickr.com