By: Keri Nola, LMHC
Birthing our authentic selves, much like childbirth, can be a laborious and painful process. Yet we are each pregnant with a divine purpose and the gifts to realize our potential. Now more than ever, we are being called to assist in raising the vibration of our planet by moving through layer upon layer of experiences that have had us falsely questioning our worth and lovability.
The challenge is we have allowed our lights to dim as many of us have spent years hiding our humanness behind masks of perfection, and we’ve lost a sense of our authentic selves in all the inner chaos and clutter. Looking back over my own life, I realize the numerous decisions I made as a result of my addiction to approval … avoiding authenticity and vulnerability for fear of being undesirable to others. Over time I became exhausted by this performance and realized my debt to the bank of authenticity was more than I was willing to pay, so I began to get curious about my options for a more genuine and wholehearted experience.
How can we begin to pay back our debt to the bank of authenticity and get back in the black? What will get our inner flame reignited so we can rediscover the path to our purpose?
1) “Get real to heal,” as I lovingly call it. Tell yourself and others the microscopic truth. Admit where you’ve being saying “yes,” but have meant “no.” We maintain our masks by remaining in denial and living illusions not based in reality. We deserve to acknowledge and live from a place of truth.
2) Practice tolerating others’ disapproval of your truth. We often sell ourselves out because we cannot stand the thought of someone disagreeing with us or disapproving of us. When we can breathe into the possibility of being able to co-exist with our truth and someone not liking it, we become free to be who we are. To get to your truth, complete this sentence: “if I knew others would love me either way, I’d be, do, say …”
3) Release the need for perfection and strive for wholeness instead. Embrace vulnerability as humanness and give yourself permission to discover that you aren’t here to be perfect, you are here to be whole. Being whole means embracing, rather than ignoring our full range of thoughts, feelings and desires – while this doesn’t have to mean we “act” on all of them, it is necessary to honor them as part of wholehearted living to experience the fullness of the human experience. Breathe and lean into discomfort and be curious about what it may have shown up to help you understand.
I’ve discovered we can only experience as much joy and peace as we allow ourselves to feel sadness, grief and shame. As one of my favorite teachers, researcher Brene Brown reminds us, we cannot selectively numb feelings we don’t want and expect to have access to the ones we do.
Ultimately, I am continually reminded that contrary to popular belief, love and worth are not realities we earn, rather they are divine rights that belong to us simply because we were born. The truth is that we have always been worthy and lovable – now we’re just working to remember these truths.
While we walk through the peaks and valleys of our human journeys, may we remember to be gentle, and breathe deeply and intentionally, as we welcome our beautiful bundle of joy…congratulations…it’s your authentic self!
Keri Nola is author of “A Year on Your Path to Growth: Daily Inspirations to Reconnect with Your Soul,” and founder of Path to Growth LLC, a Central Florida-based integrative healing center that blends traditional and holistic techniques for journeys to peace. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nola provides psychotherapy and facilitates therapeutic retreats for those seeking to reconnect with their inner wisdom, particularly after trauma or loss. She also offers heart-inspired business consultations for healthcare professionals. For more information visit www.pathtogrowth.com, on Facebook and Twitter @pathtogrowth.
NOTE: Picture of Keri Nola by Monica Alfonso