Get to know, and love, who you really are.
What the heck do I mean?
Hi, I’m Katie, and I’m so happy you’re here.
No really, I am. Because perhaps some of the words here will resonate, trigger your intrigue, or even inspire.
Or you might read a little and move on, and that’s perfectly okay too.
The point is, you, you beautiful soul, are here… which means you’re curious about you, about healing, about growing, and that’s amazing!
I was racking my brain trying to decide what to focus my first blog on. The journey of healing and self-love is endless – the journey of a lifetime in fact, full of countless twists, turns and surprises. Yet every single moment, no matter how seemingly small, is in fact hugely meaningful.
So, how the heck to pick a topic for my FIRST EVER blog?! Ragggh!
Well, I decided to chill out, take the pressure of, and let the answer came to me. And it did.
And it definitely makes sense as a starting point: what do I mean when I say, “get to know, and love, who you truly are”?
If we’re feeling lost, confused, depressed and/or are hating on ourselves a lot of the time, it can feel like there’s nothing more to learn, or that we’ve hit a wall made of steel, that this is it. Getting to know and love who you “really” are may make zero sense.
Well, I’ll break it down here and share my experiences with you; of what getting to know, and love, who you truly are means for me, as the face of Wholeheartedly You, and as someone who has gone from anxiety, fear and self-hate to self-compassion and love.
When it feels safer not to look
For many years, the idea of really getting to know myself was hugely intimidating. I was terrified to turn my attention back on myself – to ask questions. It didn’t feel safe. I was already dealing with the effort of being me day-to-day, moment-to-moment; I didn’t need to face myself any more than I already was – face my ultimate fear, that there was something inherently wrong with me.
When you don’t know, like or trust yourself, and your sense of self is wafer thin, of course you don’t want to spend time looking at yourself. Powering through life as best you can seems like the safer option.
So instead, my energy was used to, well, do just that – to power through, power through the self-consciousness, anxiety and fear.
I would look in the mirror and, depending how I felt in that moment, that’s who looked back at me. On the bad days, a hateful, fearful and hopeless reflection; on the better days, a glimmer of hope and relief. But always changing, volatile, confusing. Because ultimately, when you don’t know who you are, then you can’t really connect with yourself, or trust yourself, and the reflection will rarely be the same twice.
The price we pay for hiding (until we’re ready to shift our focus)
But avoiding myself came at a huge cost.
For so long I tried to fit in, to feel safe and secure in the world; looking for validation, acceptance and proof that my darkest fears about myself weren’t true. Hoping I would achieve something “good enough”, or meet someone who would finally show me that there was nothing wrong with me after all.
But I could never find what I was looking for. Ironically, the proof was never good enough, nor did it last long enough, or resonate deeply enough.
Until I was eventually forced to shift the focus, to turn inwards, once and for all…
Our struggle with the fears we carry will inevitably become too much, and the question “who am I” too burdensome. I believe we’re always presented with opportunities to learn the truth of who we are, and to reconnect with that truth. Each day is full of opportunities – people we cross paths with triggering a thought of emotion within us is an opportunity to observe our fears or judgments, learn from them, and see beyond them to who we really are.
Sometimes that opportunity will be in the form of an intense experience or situation that breaks us wide, wide open, bringing up incredible emotional and mental pain; to the extent we have no option but to turn our attention back on ourselves, or risk falling deeper into pain and confusion.
The impact of these moments differs for everyone. For me, the disconnection with myself eventually consumed me completely, only to throw me back up again. I was finally ready to turn my attention on myself, and look for the answers I craved, this time from within. Nothing else had worked, and I was desperate for some relief. It was almost automatic, a subconscious move – as if I was finally being forced to get out of my own way.
The way out starts with turning inwards; everything you need is within you
This may not make much sense right now, but it will in time. For the purposes of this blog, what I’m referring to is the beautiful sense of peace that comes when we learn to create deep relaxation and stillness, the type of space we can enter through, in my experience, both reiki and meditation.
What’s more, when we turn our attention to the guidance system operating within us – calling to us, ready to tell us about ourselves.
Here begins our journey of deep self-discovery.
This system is our thoughts (and feelings), a system that we most likely rarely question but in fact, can be signposts directing us to parts of ourselves that call out to be understood, and loved.
It’s not necessarily about analysing our every thought and feeling to get to their root. Instead, by creating more space and peace within, through relaxation and stillness, we can begin to understand them for what they are; understanding that they are not the be all and end all. We can learn to observe them, perhaps even learn from them, so we can live more freely and authentically.
Get to know who you really are – what is this all about then?
Let’s break the idea of getting to know, and love, who you truly are down:
- Get to know who you truly are – by this, I mean learning to find stillness, to begin to understand how our thoughts and feelings really work, understanding that they do not define us, they are not the be all and end all. Understanding the truth of who we are – beyond, behind and between our thoughts; and
- … with dedication and patience, learning to love who you really are – redefining your relationship with yourself, and your thoughts and feelings, from a place of compassion and understanding. Learning to love who we are means understanding that we are only human, doing our best to work everything out as we go, our experiences imprinted on our hearts and minds. So, we must learn to release any judgment that arises around a thought or feeling. Instead, notice it, accept it fully, and send it love. Repeatedly observe, send love and let it go.
With the practice of observing our thoughts and feelings, accepting them, sending them love, and even learning to let them go, who we are behind and beyond our thoughts and feelings becomes clearer to us. As we get to know and understand this more, and connect with this reality, we create space within to connect deeply with others, to be more resilient, to create, to contribute – to live from a place of love, not fear.
There’s rationalising it, as I’m attempting to do here, and then there’s experiencing it – an entirely different ball game, where you experience the benefits, experience the relief that comes with beginning to understand the truth of who you are.
I love this quote from author, writer and speaker, Yung Pueblo
“the biggest shift in your life happens when you
you step in and observe all that you find with
the love you bring lights up your self-awareness;
you start seeing how the past is packed into your
mind and heart –
patience, honesty, and observation start the
with time, intention, and good healing practices,
the past loses its power over your life.
you continue the process – stepping in, feeling,
understanding, and letting go.
and then you start noticing the results; you are
not the same anymore.
your mind feels lighter and develops a new,
you start arriving into your life and relationships
ready for deeper connection.”
(Check Yung out on Instagram here).
And this all starts with a deeper connection to yourself – from knowing yourself, understanding that you are not your thoughts and feelings, these are part of what makes you human, but they are not the be all and end all. They are your guidance system, there to guide you back to the truth of who you are.