I’m not sure why, but as I write this post today, tears are falling down my face. I must admit that I don’t easily cry. Even as I write, my intellect is reasoning: “Well, now I’ll have to edit this so that it’s suitable for the public.” However, when I began writing, I committed to myself that, in light of this week’s theme (TRUTH), there would be no editing outside of grammatical and spelling mistakes (one of my pet peeves lol). So, with that said, who ever amongst you that decides to keep reading – welcome to My Truth; and thank you for seeing me!
I received this video from a long-time friend and took time to watch it this morning (http://bit.ly/2xw8fcz). I love this quote from the video: “You don’t choose your dream – your dream chooses you!” This reminds me that every unique aspect of who we are is custom fit to the true vision we each hold. This is why it is so important to be true to who we are. Pretending to be anything else prevents us from using all of the gifts and skills at our disposal.
I went through a mini battle before I pressed play to watch this video. The intellectual side of me was like: “Oh you THINK you have time to sit and watch this huh?” Then the intuitive side of me was like: “There is something here for you but you gotta watch it to find it”. I’m grateful that I went with my intuition, and I’m grateful to my good friend who followed his intuition to send me this perfectly-timed reminder.
Why is the timing so impeccable for me? It’s because the most bizarre thing is happening to me right now… Correction: I have some of the weirdest experiences happening through me right now. I’m undergoing some massive personal and professional transitions, and it’s pulling me in all directions at once ☺ I smile because I’m grateful to have the ability to observe the transformations as I am undergoing them and am grateful to know that it is all worth it. It’s worth the rollercoaster ride for me because the transitions are serving a purpose more significant than just making it through a day.
This weekend, I have the privilege to share my experiences and the tools that I use at a fantastic event held by an organisation called: Reclaim Your Voice (http://www.reclaimyourvoice.org/about1/). I am grateful for the opportunity to share my stories and experiences and to know that understanding, acceptance and fortitude reside within this space. I did not expect to be in this position when I first began speaking about sexual trauma in public.
It feels like forever, but it is only a few years ago that I began to flex my “Truth Out Loud” muscles. What I didn’t know and understand at that time was that the act of allowing and speaking one’s Truth is not a one-time thing or some dramatic announcement that’s supposed to correct all wrongs in life. It did not have the effects that I expected. I did not all of a sudden fix all of my weight management issues. Relationship issues did not, all of a sudden, disappear. What did happen was I took one of the first major (and one of the MOST DIFFICULT) steps in my entire life to allow my real voice to be heard. The work I do and this post are NOT just about survival from trauma. This work is not about sensationalising experiences for the sake of a few “likes”, “follows” and attention. I’m sharing a journey that I know for a fact is all too common, and I am allowing my SELF to live outside of myself in the process. Seeing my words on pages, hearing my voice speak my Truth, and allowing people to see my journey and reflect back to me their journey is transformative for me (and I’ve learned – for others).
I began today’s post talking about the rollercoaster ride I am on. I am in the midst of manifesting visions I’ve held and developed for most of my life. My dreams chose me from quite a young age. True2Soul has been a lifelong phrase for me. Since I chose to follow and live out my visions, I’ve had some of the most painful, draining, humiliating, and debilitating life experiences. I’ve also had some of the most JOYOUS, DEEPLY LIBERATING and AWAKENING experiences I’ve ever had since childhood. I say “since childhood” because, amidst my memories of long-term sexual trauma, I also have memories of some of the most intense spiritual experiences I’ve ever had in my life thus far (another topic for another time).
I’ve mentioned in my other writings that my personal and professional transformations hurt sometimes. Today, I want to share a bit about “why”. My reasoning for doing so is so that other people – who may also share these thoughts; feelings and experiences – can find companionship in my words. I share this so that other people – who may not share these thoughts, feelings and experiences – can find insight through my words. I am compelled to share this so that I may release these words, emotions and energies from deep within me – into the world. Truth is part of trauma recovery.
A life of secrets: I first learned to keep secrets as a survivor of trauma. Then, as I grew up, it became about hiding my idiosyncrasies and “imperfections”. I learned quite well the art of the chameleon and quickly discerned what people wanted to see, hear and know. I learned tears, rage and grief scared people; and that smiles and laughter made them feel more at ease. So I perfected my masks and polished my smile. I blocked what made me cry; repressed what induced hot rage within me, and ignored the intense grief that sometimes threatened to choke me out. I felt that people did not want to know the real me. I decided that the real me was not worthy of knowing. I remember the moment I resigned myself to allowing only masks for the world’s viewing. I was sitting resignedly in the 2nd to the last row of Grade 9 Mathematics class – doodling on a piece of paper. I thought to myself: “People won’t know the difference – so why bother?” It became less and less difficult for me as I set about the task of layering mask over mask and layer after layer – over the essence of who I AM.
I subsequently began a career where I could protect others in ways that I felt I could not defend myself. I swore my many oaths – including serving and protecting. I soon determined there were many more masks I had to put on in adult life and career. Though my past motivated me and helped focus my energies on my job, my refusal to acknowledge all the truths and lessons that came with my history began to eat away at me. Emotions I refused to express made their way to the surface in different ways: Dysfunctional relationships, weight management challenges, triggering situations at work, etc.
These were all clues to me – to deal with my stuff. Despite all of these clues for me to come out from under the weight of secrets, I believed that if I only worked harder, pushed myself further and applied sheer brute force – I could make life the way I wanted it to be or prevent what I didn’t want in my life. I piled more and more onto my plate, believing that each feat I achieved would make me more worthy. For most of my life, I’ve worked hard at whatever I set my mind. I’ve put all my energy wherever my focus landed. I’ve always believed this to be the right way to do things. Life has taught me differently. All of the pushing, working, scrambling, hustling, and busyness distracted me from a simple Truth: I WAS EXHAUSTED!
I was fighting and hiding my Truth rather than just living it. My body was rebelling. My relationship had gone to pot. I was pouring my energy into many things and people whose expression of Truth did not align with mine. I engrossed myself with balancing family, career, business, etc. – thinking I had to achieve my goals by hook or by crook. I believed that self-care and touching base with my Truth was the last consideration – when it should have been my primary consideration. I went on hiatus – from relationships and everything that distracted me from what I needed to do. I reoriented myself on my Truth; and jumped back in.
I now realise that this healing journey is akin to peeling an onion. In my over four decades of life on this planet, I’ve accumulated many layers of experiences, reactions to my experiences, and repressed emotions and thoughts about my experiences.
As I peel away layer after layer to rediscover my Self, I encounter new emotions, challenges, triumphs and more Truth. The difference right now is that I have clarity as to why I am on doing all of this. All my pains and gains are purposed – not just for their own sake. Living my truth out loud has resulted in the following shifts for me thus far:
I continue with my weight management challenges. The difference is now I’ve decided that I won’t hide as I discover the “why” behind them and recover my ideal physical state.
I continue transitioning personally. The difference now is I feel less and less compelled to wait to be “perfect” before I share my journey with others.
I continue transitioning professionally. The difference now is that I am operating more out of faith and trust than I have ever allowed myself before.
There is so much more, but this post is already rather long ☺ I’ll wrap up by saying that this rollercoaster ride of emotions, physical changes, etc. can sometimes be debilitating. However, I will not change it. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this passionate and alive. I feel like I’m waking up. Thank you for reading and sharing this time with me. Keda