Do you know who you really are? Do you like yourself?
When I was young, in grade school, I was extremely shy. It was the paralyzing shyness that in 1st grade I actually hid under my desk, and I would cry if I was called on. To speak up in front of others was petrifying. My life up to that point explains a lot of that behavior. Loss of my mother, put on a plane by my father to go live with family I did not know halfway across the world, that I didn’t even know their language. I think the fear and insecurity of my early life experience had a lot to do with shaping my shy introverted personality.
I remember in high school, reading a report out loud was nauseating. Even as an adult, speaking in front of a group of people took a whole lot of courage. I know a lot of it was wanting to be accepted, fit in, be just like everyone else. If I was just like everyone else I would not be noticed, and I was ok with that.
I have been wondering, is that the personality I was born with? Was I destined to be ‘shy’ if my life would have been ‘normal’? Or are those traits something else. Could they be a shell, that we use as protection, to not be seen or heard in case we are not accepted by others? Do we use the titles ‘introvert’, ‘shy’, ‘private’, as excuses to stay hidden, and not do the work it takes to figure out who we are?
I do know that I slowly have found courage to speak in front of groups, to be open about feelings, to tell people things they probably would not be comfortable with or approve of.
When I started ‘waking up’, discovering who I really was after the life I had fell apart, I realized that fitting in, and being like everyone else was not the real me. I realized that it does not matter if others approve of what I say, do or feel. It’s not so much that it’s none of their business, but it’s none of MY business what THEY think! (There’s a difference!)
When you realize who you truly are, what makes you happy, and you truly love yourself for it, the right people will love you, because or in spite of it. You become comfortable in your own skin. Loving every bit of ourselves is what makes us beautiful. Once you really love yourself, you are not afraid of letting others see the beauty that you are!
And THAT is real freedom.