I don’t want to pretend like I am someone who has it all together. I have no interest in that anymore. Honestly, lately, I’ve been struggling with feelings of intense lowness. There is this critical voice within me who says I am being fake by not being someone who is positive, light, confident, and inspiring as I tend to portray myself as. I have this idea of who I want to be. And the truth is, right now, I am just simply not there. I am that person sometimes, but right now, I am feeling sad, lost, confused, and sensitive. I don’t know what I don’t know. What I didn’t know was that the last cycle of my life has been a death cycle. There was a part of me begging for help, begging to be seen, begging to be released. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t listening to her.
Then one day my phone breaks by none other than unexplained universal forces, and I was forced to take a step back from communicating with anyone else except those just right in front of me. I was forced to stop consuming stimulation from the world outside of me. Through that I was invited to slow down, to sign out, and take a look within. I was given a chance to explore that part of me that was begging to be set free.
And there she was. This part of me that was abandoned, forgotten, rejected. She was cowering in fear of not being enough. Her knees were weak with shame. Her stomach churned at the thought that someone would see her imperfections and deem her as unlovable. She had a mean streak that would rip your throat out if you came too close. Her fever of self-doubt was hot on her skin. She had been sick for far too long, and she knew the only way she would get her healing is if she came out of hiding.
So out she came, and in that process of me still not accepting her, I felt the disconnect between who I thought myself to be, who I portrayed myself to be to the outside world, and who I actually am. I was falling blindly down a rabbit hole that I did not know before, but there was no stopping now. Cue the darkness of not knowing who I am, the confusion of feeling absolutely worthless, the anger that no one else could ever possibly understand what I was experiencing, the projection of my own wounds onto others, and the comparison of other people’s lives with my own that followed.
It is not easy to move through life when you feel like there are parts of you that are dying. I have tried and failed, more than once, to continue life as I knew it. It is uncomfortable to feel so disconnected, so out of control. I knew that I was going through something but I didn’t know what, I just knew that it was painful and that my ego didn’t want anyone to see me like that. The thing about going through a season like this is that I simply cannot go on as before. Everything I have known is asking to be put on pause. Things I thought I knew come up to humble me and remind me that I truly know nothing. Once the caterpillar crawls into her cocoon, there is no looking back. She must melt away all that is no longer her.
Fast forward to laying in hammocks for hours on end with the sea breeze gently rocking me to sleep mid-afternoon. Driving down long stretches of roads, nothing but cacti and cows for miles on end through the desert. Meeting strangers that felt like family after a couple days of beach camping. Surfing new, empty waves, getting verbal directions from the locals on the best spots and going out to find them based on memory and intuition. Car packed with sleeping bags, surf boards, and canned tuna. Sun-bleached fish bones and sandy feathers hanging from the rearview mirror. Unplugged from the rest of the world, out in the middle of absolutely nowhere, roaming around in the dust, stopping the car every time our eyes saw the desert meet the sea.
It was in these days that turned into weeks and months that I was gifted the peace of self-compassion. That I was reminded that the darkness does not have to last forever. That I was shown how my own inner guidance system always has my back. It was affirmed to me over and over again that my intentions are pure and that I attract exactly what I need into my experience, that everything I am seeking is also seeking me. That presence is healing, and my presence is the greatest gift I could ever give to the world. What a blessing it is, to know that I am always taken care of, even in the darkest of times. That even when I am going through a phase of cocooning, melting away the old, in the midst of deep transformation through depression, that I am still loved and seen. I can love myself through all the phases of my life and there are people in my circle who can love me in all my forms too, thank you. Even in the harshest environments, there is still life.
I have found so much value from this time. The contrast has served me so well. I have learned how to speak my needs clearly. I have learned that negative emotion is simply a part of my guidance system, not something to be feared or avoided. I have learned that my only responsibility is my own energy and where I choose to focus it. I have gained a new form of self-awareness. I have held myself in the depths of my own breakdowns and whispered “I love you. I forgive you.” The self-compassion I have now was something I did not have before, it was something that only could have been born from meeting the places within myself that were the most wounded. The allowing of myself to sit with all of me – the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly – has shown me what it truly means to love oneself, to trust in God, and to surrender to the humble knowing that I am nothing and everything at the same time.
I am someone who learns from experience. No one can teach me anything until I experience the teachings in my own being. This, surely, was a lesson that there is no one outside of me to save me. There is no one that can stop me from going through the processes that my soul signed up for when coming to Earth. I have lived and I have died many times, and all that shows me is that I am no better than anyone else. I am also no worse than anyone else. We have all experienced the full spectrum of human existence at one point or another. There is no hierarchy. And from this point forward I promise to myself to stop comparing myself to others, to stop letting others put me on a pedestal, and to stop myself from putting others higher than myself too. In the words of Briana Lynn,
“I want to see you eye to eye, toe to toe, heart to heart.”
That is where I had to meet the rejected parts of myself: eye to eye, toe to toe, heart to heart. It has not been the most graceful of processes, it has been a time of releasing, integration, re-invention. Refinement through fire. True healing is something that is not picture perfect for instagram and not everyone deserves to see me in this process.
Through all this I have seen myself expand to encompass the fullness of my multidimensional self. I have found my inner voice by tuning out all the outside noise. I have forgiven myself. And now I can honestly say I feel more empowered, aligned, and inspired than ever before. I am proud of myself for not shying away from the process of walking through the valleys of my own shadows. The caterpillar does not go into the cocoon because she wants to, she goes because she must, for it is written in the stars that she has to die so that, one day soon, she will fly.