Six years ago, I found myself five years into a job that was making me ill. I was stressed, exhausted and losing weight, and as much as I'd heard the “you're lucky to even have a job”, “it’s the wrong time to be looking for a new job” etc., I couldn’t shift the unhappiness, longing and frustration that I felt. The job I once loved had become unrecognisable, and I was screaming inside.
Six months later, I finally found the courage to apply for new jobs, and was offered a post in a similar field. Momentary delight soon followed acute concern. Alarm bells crept in, and I was confused; why do I feel the same way?
My concerns were short lived as fate played a hand. Two weeks after I'd started my new role, the company went into liquidation, and I was out of a job.
After initial numbness, blaming and cursing, I was overcome with an incredible emotion that I had not experience for some time; relief. Yes relief.
Her actions are well intentioned, and she is in fact, wonderful at keeping me safe. But, sometimes she gets in my way.
I went to the hills, surrounded by light, enticed by the calmness. I felt the passion of the rain caress my face, dance on the trees and play drums with the ground. I felt the wind encircle me playfully, and then run away. I felt the bench make space for me, and let me know I was safe and accepted. I felt the air spin through my nose like a tornado to my lungs that allowed me to breathe and allowed me to be.
I saw the fields lined up like art and the textured fusions of grass, earth and flowers. I saw the trees assemble and display experience, life, transformation and death before me. I saw the sun illuminate the way ahead of me. It glided on the lake and summoned my eyes to absorb the colours and warmth that surrounds me.
I heard the earth mould beneath my feet to support me. I heard the grass adjust to make room for me. I heard the breeze roar to announce its presence and the birds sing their response. I heard the stream become intimate with the stones creating music.
I touched the nature that allowed me to slow down, to sit still and be still. I touched the nature that allowed me to turn down the noise so I can appreciate sounds and the silence. I touched the nature that allowed me to breathe so I no longer fought for air.
I touched the nature that filled my lungs with space and dispelled the overcrowded emotions. I touched the nature that created room for me within myself that was filled with the feelings of everyone else and everything else.
I touched the nature that allowed me to be silent, connected, listened to, accepted, and grounded, and then be part of something wonderful and meaningful.
And yet allowed me to be an individual and completely myself.
Just for a moment.
©Authenticity Coaching London
Imagine living each day with the recognition that your authentic nature, vulnerability, passion, creativity, and everything you are effortlessly, is not only enough, but amazing. What a release. What a relief. There was nothing wrong with being you in the first place.
But what happens when the people closest to you don’t want you to change? They are comfortable with the masks that you’ve learned to wear so well. They like the edited version of you. Perhaps acceptance of yourself, highlights disapproval within themselves, and they resent you. What if being your authentic self, means some relationships change for the worse?
How many times have you been told how to be? Or how not to be? Possibly hundreds. You may have learned to act a certain way to avoid disapproval, make decisions that make someone else happy, and that it was not ok to have your dreams, your opinions, and be you. If you were like me, your response may have been to either try to fit in, or hide, or both.
In the past, I spent a lot of time hiding, like I was walking around in clothes ten sizes too big for me, swallowing me up and rendering me invisible. Nobody could see the person underneath; no shape, no form, no strengths, no details or intricacies that were individual to me. I blended in, which was the plan; but it came at the expense of hiding myself for so long, that I also started to forget what ‘me’ felt like.
When I wasn’t hiding, I tried to fit in; be ‘normal’, conventional and surrender to what felt like everybody else’s expectation of me. To not fit in, meant I stayed weird, odd, and different; I was sick of hearing that.
But rarely feeling allowed to be me, came at a cost.