“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde
For many years I wrote in secret. I would only put pen to paper when the lights were dim, when everyone around me was asleep.
Also, I wrote when no one was home, I made sure that I was alone because I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want to be questioned and I didn’t want anyone interested in what I was doing.
In hiding, I filled up journals with words of heart-break, poetry, love, laughter, inspiration, anything that was bubbling to the surface.
Those notebooks were mirrors of my truth.
I threw them out. I violently ripped out the ink covered pages.
I was terrified of anyone reading them. I worried what they would think of me if they really knew me.
I worried about judgment, about being misunderstood, about being truly known.
All those words, all that truth, was destroyed because of my own fear.
What happened when I destroyed my writing was I became further disconnected from my own story, became disconnected from my own truth. As I was unsure of my expression and I was unsure of myself.
Over time, I felt fragmented; I felt that the me I presented to others was a contrived version of myself. I was eager to please, a “yeser.” I made sure to stand up strong on a foundation of persona that reflected how I thought I would be most accepted and loved.
When I met people and they asked about who I was, what I believed in, or what I did, I said something vague and cliché. I eagerly changed the subject back onto them. I became disconnected from my own words, from my own uniqueness, from my own power.
I was unhappy, insecure and uninspired.
We Block Ourselves from Living the Life We Want
At the core was a fear of what it would mean to shine brightly. To shine with my story, my truth and my words. It was safer to play small because then I was safe from judgment, from attention, from being seen, from vulnerability.
When we share our creative selves and authentically express our truth, we are raw and vulnerable. This is extremely powerful but also can been extremely frightening.
However, if we allow fear of this power to take over, if we shy away from sharing our stories, or if we keep expressing ourselves from the sidelines, slowly but surely we become disconnected from our creative selves. We become disconnected from our uniqueness and vibrancy.
When we express ourselves we materialize our truth, we materialize our authenticity. This can initiate fear, it can stir up the part of us that wants us to be small.
However, this fear is an illusion, but it can also be a gift. This gift comes from shifting our perception to seeing that fear suggests we are getting closer to our highest truth.
The One Change that Changed Everything
One day when I was tearing out the pages of my notebooks, I tried to tear out too many at one time. They wouldn’t rip.
I became frustrated, trying to tear them with all my strength. They still wouldn’t rip.
As I looked down, I felt a pit in my stomach. It hit me what I was doing.
I was perpetuating fear, I was disconnecting further from who I was and the tool I was given to express myself.
I clearly saw the piles of torn up words and realized I had enough to begin a book, enough to possibly help or inspire someone. My own healing was now in shards, laying in ruin.
In that moment it hit me that I was a writer. I thought the words to myself, “I am a writer.” Then I said them out loud. My whole being lit up. I lit up with love, with truth, with expansion, with a wonderful feeling of effortlessness.
In that instant I felt like I was a train, and the tracks that were going in different directions, clicked into place. I was now aligned with my own destiny.
For the first time I was able to see my light and I was able to feel and touch the power of my words.
I named myself a writer. I could feel the writer in me breathing deeply.
Slowly but surly I began writing in coffee shops, jotting down notes when out with friends, writing before bed, and when traveling. Writing became part of my routine; became part of who I am.
Now when talking with new people I proudly share that I am a writer. When I do, I feel confident, joyful and inspired. I am speaking my truth.
Stand Strongly in Who You Are and in Your Gifts
I believe that we all have a medium of expression that holds energy for us. It is the form that we go to when in our darkest hours; it is our soul’s medicine.
Maybe you are connected to music, writing, art, being in nature, dance, cooking or yoga. Notice the energy this gift holds for you. Does it bring up excitement, fear, love, resistance or peace?
Know this is all energy. When we are charged, we have an opportunity to harness this energy and make beautiful positive change, for ourselves and others.
Look at the ways your inner light shines through when you express in this way. Notice thought patterns that may hold you back and may be blocking your light from expressing itself fully.
Connect to it honestly.
Call yourself a dancer, a yogi, a writer, a musician. Integrate this into your identity, into who you are. Love this part of yourself. Honor it.
This is your destiny.
Identifying your creative self will send a jolt through your bones, asking you to stand more confidently, happily and lovingly.
With each day remind yourself of your story, your expression, your identity. Remind yourself who you are and give this part of you nod of gratitude. Nurture this part of yourself and you will help nurture others to do the same.
What is your truth? Name it in the comments below.
Photo by justine-reyes