I've had several conversations this week when I've seen in others what they can not see for themselves yet. It's kind of a twist on the idea of the Disney movie “Snow White” when the wicked witch stands in front front of the mirror and asks the question, “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is fairest of them all?”, each time seeking to hear her own name be named as fairest.
Because of her own version of wounded-ness, the wicked witch believed that “being fairest”, or the most beautiful and desirable woman, was what she needed to be happy (which is a post for another time), and her wickedness, which literally means by definition (adj.) to cause injury or harm, drove her to outwardly vent her pain on the innocent.
But what about people who don't vent their pain, but rather they suppress it, burying it deeply, thinking that if I just (fill in the blank), everything will be okay, or I will be happy, or I will be lovable by this parent or that boyfriend/girlfriend? They too are saying “Magic, mirror, on the wall...” only we don't have magic mirrors, and instead of asking who is fairest, their wounded-ness says something like: “Mirror, mirror, ...what do I have to do to be loved?”, or “... will I ever be good enough?”
Mirrors are an interesting thing, and interestingly enough, life is it's own mirror. So even though we don't walk around all day saying, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall...”, we still hear and feel the answer based on what we are believing about ourselves and the outside world is reflecting back the inside answer.
That person that drives you bonkers? It only drives you bonkers because of something within that triggers your emotions.
That person that you adore? It is a reflection of something within you that you resonate with, and likewise triggers your emotions, only in a good way instead of negative.
One of the things I recognized early on in my own healing journey is that I had lost myself and that the world was mirroring back to me all the things that were causing me pain at knowing I had lost me. I had lost myself because I thought I had to be someone else to be acceptable, to be loveable, and quite honestly, to even have the right to exist. And that is when life began to be painful and difficult.
It wasn't okay to be a chatter box, so I better hold it all in. It's not okay to have an opinion, so you I better not disagree with anyone. It's not okay to say “No.” so I better always say yes, even if I don't mean it. I could go on and on and on, but you get the picture. In fact, you probably have all kinds of your own experiences coming to mind that you experiences.
So, what did I do? I recognized as an adult that I had not been happy for a long time, and that I didn't feel like myself anymore. I don't know how to clarify that, but if you have experienced it, you don't need it defined. I wasn't myself, and I missed me. I missed being happy, full of energy and “sunshine”. Full of laughter and songs, dancing as I walked, enjoying life as it came, even if it wasn't going my way all the time, I could roll with it.
But instead, I was experiencing darkness, sometimes so tangible that I quite literally felt like there were hands rising up from a black pit and grabbing me from the ankles and I screamed and clawed at the edges trying to resist being pulled back into the heavy darkness where I became a very abusive person to the people I loved the most. At that time, Wellbutrin was my best friend... at least it kept the darkness at bay, but I still wasn't me. I was just going through the motions and doing my best, but I wanted more because I KNEW there was something more if I could just find myself.
One day I had the inspiration to write down all the ingredients that I believed went into creating my soul as I remembered it. I don't think that I even thought it would be helpful beyond acting as a sort of map somehow, but the thought wouldn't leave me, so one day I sat down with a notebook and allowed myself to be very honest with myself, as though I were a wiser and unconditionally loving me. I wrote down the following list:
(Plus a couple I realized later and added to the list: Hopeful and Optimistic).
I then turned around and wrote it in a cross word format, which makes total sense to me today, it's playful (another 'ingredient' I hadn't originally thought of).
When I finished the list, do you know what I noticed right away about it? Not a single negative 'ingredient' was on it. NOT ONE!
It wasn't long after that experience that I found a book titled, “It's just my nature” by Carol Tuttle. It was like the legend to my map and I realized I knew where I was, and how to get me back! It took time, but it was worth every second and when one day I realized I was back to being the me I had remembered and always knew was still in there somewhere. What a moment of joy!
I found quite a few tools that really helped me embrace myself for who I knew I am. In 2012 or 2013, one of those things was an online course called Dressing Your Truth. It really helped me remember visually, every day in the mirror, who I am and I often found myself telling my husband I wished I could buy that course for everyone I knew just because it was really that helpful in my journey, and maybe it would be helpful for others. Those who I shared with that the course was available who took it all gained helpful insights to accepting and understanding themselves better, and loving and accepting others better too. Bonus!!
For anyone interested in the Dressing Your Truth course, it is worth every penny and more for me, and I am grateful it was in the “affordable” range with some birthday and christmas money saved up. (Update: This course has now been made available for free!)
If that's not your style, look inside and be open to seeing the truth of all the goodness that makes you who you are! Sometimes it can be scary to face what we think will be there, but if we are honest and open, you will likely be surprised that the ingredients that make you who you are, are all good.
If you have any questions, you are always welcome to email me. I look forward to hearing from you!
All my love, and Be Well…