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I ambitiously thought I could juggle my 80-hour job with two businesses and participate in a yoga teacher training program.
In all seriousness, I badly wanted to change my life but I was a disaster waiting to implode. This wasn’t the way to go. While yoga helped me a great deal, I wasn’t fully present. I was managing chaos and burning out in the process of it, and this was my daily reality:
My mind races to the future, leaving my body to disconnect and binge.
My mind worries about the past, turning my world into a hellish labyrinth.
My inner protector does what it knows best to survive from a flawed upbringing.
My inner protector puts up the walls, defending a wounded inner child.
My inner child hides behind those walls, distrusting anything that reminds it of rejection.
My inner child screams with rage, waiting for acknowledgement but met with silence.
This wasn’t the fulfilling life I envisioned. Escapism and surviving the rat race came at the expense of my peace. I may be a coach, marketer, engineer, teacher, partner, daughter, lover, or friend, but none of these were the answers. The answers were buried somewhere within me.
Now, I don’t mean to ditch the roles and responsibilities or do away with passion. What I mean is when we don’t extend trust, love, nor kindness to ourselves, it’s torturous. Some of us may think we don’t need those things or that we’ll do just fine. But “fine” is a cop out.
When I said, “I’m fine” for decades, I wasn’t meeting myself. I was emotionally closing myself off from the love I was dying to receive. Loving others came naturally, but receiving love from others and experiencing the love of self were foreign to me. It was one of those things that stemmed from trans-generational trauma built on self-sacrifice. The inner me didn’t know how to be with it.
The most disowned parts of myself would say:
I’m not enough.
It’s not okay to be me.
I’m not worthy of love.
It’s a self-sabotaging dialogue. No wonder inner work is so difficult, but worthwhile when we realize how powerful it is to live it truthfully. To stop saying no to ourselves and see ourselves for who we are. To stop saying yes to the things that don’t resonate with us.
Meeting myself is what made it possible for me to reverse the tide of self-destruction. To be seen and heard by own self as well as the people who hold my best interests at heart. To expand in a safe space unapologetically, affirming my own worth. To take hold of the worst and darkest of places within me to the best of my being. All of it. Not to turn away from pain but melt it with tenderness.
Fast forward to now, my inner child is able to say, “sit with me” to:
Be with me.
Meeting ourselves is to pause and move with the arising that happens within us. Whether we want to step forward or take two steps back, it’s about meeting ourselves where we are at right now. There is no rushing, forcing, or getting ourselves over with. It’s the nurturing and nourishment we’ve been searching for all along.
Returning to ourselves is the realest act of self-love we can ever do and a powerful way to honor ourselves. It is a blessing that has saved me from my own hell and, for what it’s worth, I hope others come to realize this too.
And if anything, I want to leave off with three key things that helped me find my way:
Clarity. How clear are we about ourselves when it comes to who we are, our needs, and our deepest desires? What happens within and around us? How do we set our intentions so that every action reflects our values, who we are, and what we envision for our life?
Connection. How much do our actions make us feel alive? When do we pause and listen to our bodies so we’re not headless chickens running the race? What do we do to cultivate ourselves when loneliness lurks around the corner?
Consistency. What habits are really serving us? What patterns come up and what exactly keeps us flowing? How do we advocate for ourselves every time we are met with resistance?
If we took a step back from our lives, what is the common thread of it all? What gets us to succeed over and over again when we are trapped? Where is our state of being and what do we do?
My point in all this is—sit with it. Witness the unique relationship we have with clarity, connection, and consistency.
Our answers are nowhere else but inside. We can distract ourselves with all we want. All the addictions and temptations to avoid ourselves, but at the end of the day, our “self” is always there waiting to be met.