I spent so many years of my life trying to ‘fit in’.
It’s very normal though isn’t it? We all want to belong. We all want to feel seen and loved and cared for.
In the past I would bend myself backwards so people would like me. I was often quite a chameleon…who do you want or need me to be? What do you want to hear? Saying yes, when I wanted to say no. Not being true to myself. I watch my teenage son and his friends now. The social pressures, and the biological and psychological pressures, to belong. We are literally wired that way. With gratitude I watch my son stay true to himself. Not all of the time, but most of the time. I wasn’t like that as a teenager. I didn’t have a strong sense of myself. And yet, I am not sure there is much point in belonging, or being seen and cared for if you are not being authentic. If you are not seen, cared for and loved for who you truly are, in all your imperfections. Otherwise it just makes life hard, exhausting! And eventually I really did feel like I had lost my soul. Over time I learned that if I sell myself out, if I don’t live a life true to myself, if I don’t stay in integrity with my values, with what is important to me, with who I am. If I don’t learn to say no, to honor and appreciate myself, then it makes it impossible to live and authentic and meaningful life and to have authentic and meaningful relationships. To feel confident, calm and connected. It’s tricky, because it literally goes against the way our brain is wired and I will be forever grateful for the compassionate self-awareness practices that allow me to learn how to truly be myself.
With great warmth Jo