I am not who I was 4 years ago. I was a woman who listened to everything others told her she had to do, and had never learnt how to listen to my own inner voice. I hid so many parts of myself. I didn’t like to be seen and I feared being heard because what if people didn’t like what I had to say? I hid behind the mask of niceness.
I am different now, having gone through my own personal trauma. I have a voice. I don’t care what people think of me anymore. I allow myself to be seen—the real me, not the one I think will win people’s approval. Yes, I may appear a tad crazy, but this is me and I will not apologise for that.
I will never be who I once was because of what I have been through. This is our gold; it is hidden in our life’s challenges. We each have a story, a book, our very own happy ever after within us, that is called our very own, amazing life.
The truth is, challenging circumstances in our lives change us. The death of a child, a toxic relationship, a life threatening illness, an affair that forced you to face who you really are instead of who you were pretending to be, coming out after an addiction that almost killed you—those things change us.
When these challenges pass through us, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally, we are never, ever the same.
When these things happen in our lives, it forces us to pause, reflect on what we have been through and own who we now are, or who we want to be, now that our masks are off.
These experiences happen to us to shake things up, to reveal things that may have been hidden or we just weren’t willing to see.
I wanted to be a better version of myself, after my life fell apart when my Dad died. I had to be more compassionate, more understanding, less judgmental and more accepting of myself and my own flaws.
I had to take my pain and learn how to sit with it, and transcend it, even through the many dark nights of the soul that have almost killed me on so many levels. It is what I can only describe as what a junkie must feel like when experiencing cold turkey. Releasing the trauma and wounding stored in the emotional body feels like that. No words but so many.
There was a moment in my own process where I wanted to give up. I detailed and documented about this in my book, Coming Home with Gratitude
During my stint in Dubai, I wanted to quietly slip away from the physical body. Yet, something deep within me, kept me going. Was it grace? I do not know. What I do know is this. Suicide is not about really wanting to be dead. It is about killing what we do not like about ourselves on the inside that matters.
I am not the same person anymore.
Once you overcome adversity and come to understand the wisdom within your crisis, you will flip that into freedom. You are forever changed from that experience, and then will discover your new self.
We cannot be sorry to the people in our lives who knew us before because we can’t go back to being the person before the crisis. The crisis happened for a reason.
We sometimes can’t go back into a marriage after we’ve had an affair, because the affair changed us.
We can’t go back to a partner that supported us through an addiction, because what kept us with them in the first place was the addiction itself.
Once you’ve changed, everyone around you follows suit.
Your energy changes; their energy changes.
Overcoming adversity involves plenty of loving kindness, compassion and quality alone time. Discover how to tune in to the intelligence of your own inner voice, instead of swimming around in circles, stuck in the gold fish bowl syndrome.
For those going through their own challenges? Expect that they are either going to step up to their full potential or spiral out of control. They will not fall into line, and give in to things they know are no longer right for them because of what they have been through.
Do seek professional guidance; be courageous enough to be seen, supported and held in your vulnerability, which will help you grow. Expressing and sharing your vulnerability is your greatest ally. It is the highest form of self love and takes incredible strength. For certain, is it not a weakness, as we have been conditioned to believe. It is our mark of our humanness, our badge of honour, to wear with pride because of our capacity to love and feel so very deeply.