Posted in Journey, Life, Transformation, Warriors

Unapologetically myself

Sometimes I wonder where “she” is. I am looking for the person I used to be. Is she still in there, somewhere, hiding in a dark corner, a secret crevice of my most inner being. I wonder who she was and what her importance is to me now!

I am looking for a specific version of myself, one that is made of strengths, a can do mind-frame, a “bring it on” attitude, and a heart full of guts and glory. She is one who isn’t afraid to take on the biggest challenge, and she always, always, always, rises to the occasion. She is solid and strong, leading others and she doesn’t know how else to be. She is one created out of trauma and hardship and she doesn’t even know that it is the source of her strengths. “Hello, are you still with me?”

It is true that when you love someone, over a period of time, you will attend a thousand funerals of all the versions they once were. As life unfolds, change is imminent. Through each transition a slightly different version of ourself emerges. Old versions die off while new ones are born and find their way to light. I recognize the versions I have shed over time as they lie dormant within me. Dormant, in moments when I wonder what happened to her, when I miss that warrior outlook and wish that I was once again strong. Sometimes I see little left of her and it usually happens during a moment of emotional outpouring, when a song triggers tears, something sad has happened, or when the chronic pain takes over and leaves me feeling weak and vulnerable. By then that “bring it on” attitude has long vanished, and I can’t help but wonder if I shed that version all together. If remnants still remain, left inside, now a memory of a version that has been updated and replaced the old me. Perhaps I, myself, at some point attended my own funeral, shedding that particular self.

For the majority of my life that warrior spirit was like survival instinct, strong and up front, ready to spring into action at any given moment. I also know that for the warrior to thrive, things had to be a certain way, and I usually found myself in the midst of trauma and adversity. It’s bittersweet to view it from that angle, missing that fighting spirit but knowing that trauma is required for it to exist. It’s almost easier to accept the dormancy knowing that the warrior can rest because calmer sea’s have entered my life.

They say that our experiences make us stronger, which to me would equal an even stronger warrior spirit, but that wasn’t the case for me. What made me stronger was the pain from those experiences. It was a life that overall felt caged, from circumstances and myself, pushed to the edge, in constant tension. It was fighting for acceptance, being valued, and it stretched over decades, starting at a very young age. I entered adulthood being alive but barely living. I was merely existing and rolling with the punches. Eventually, it was that very warrior spirit and having to be strong all the time that exhausted me and left me feeling tired and numb. The more work I did unraveling multiple versions of my “selfs”, the more vulnerable and sensitive I became. This work would require me to go back to the beginning, to my childhood and to those wounds that begged to be recognized and healed. It included shadow work and embracing my shadow self and darker aspects of myself. Throughout I had to learn to shed fear and meet myself with patience, forgiveness and unconditional love. At times I saw myself more empowered, but also weaker and a terrible mess. I started to self isolate due to exhaustion, having to process everything myself, and because deep down I felt that the world needed protecting from me.

In all the years when these feelings were never acknowledged and hidden deep within, they manifested the biggest wall around me, to protect myself and everyone else. My warrior spirit was on point and strong. I created a fort that only I would ever break. That is if the day would ever come when I felt strong enough to summon the courage or found it necessary. At the moment, it kept me safe from the outside world, but it was an awful lonely place, one that birthed and translated to a new version of pain. In time I was starting to see, to truly see. I was witnessing all the events that had transpired and everything that it took to lead me up to this point. In a moment of self pity or awareness, it left me feeling sad and in a way as if I was indeed attending my own funeral. Now that I had learned and acknowledged the events of my life and how these wounds were created, that warrior spirit and strengths went out the door, leaving behind a rawness and vulnerability that required getting used to. Now what, could this rawness be accepted, by myself, and by society, or would it be viewed as weakness and a lack of drive?

It was definitely a new way of life and I had to adjust. It took courage and that warrior guts and glory that I was searching for. Little did I know that I was already accessing it in a different kind of way. This time with a different fighting spirit, a different kind of stance. It would be one that led me to authenticity, peace and solitude. Yet, to the outside world it never quite comes across this way. It’s often a lonely place when we find it, and few share the space with you. Maybe I didn’t feel the need to prove myself anymore or to fight for the people that never cared to be in my life. My true life, my authentic self, not a version molded by society. Yet, it’s a lonely place when we find it as few share the space with you. I could probably apply the same theory and the same findings to a couple more scenarios, but I think my point has been made. Deep down I know that “that” warrior spirit is still here and it is merely presenting itself in a new version. One that doesn’t hide, one that isn’t trying to conceal the pain, but one that helps me deal with the ancient wounds, providing me with the courage to address them. Today that fighting spirit is perhaps stronger, but it has a new face. What you see is what you get. There is no hiding, no disguise, no version that doesn’t feel authentic to that particular moment, that experience, and that lesson, may it be joy or pain.

A wound was triggered the other day while FaceTiming with my girlfriend. It left me in tears and vulnerable. Something few have ever witnessed. I say it’s due to my upbringing and an environment that consisted primarily of suppressed emotions. I can still hear Mom telling me to get it together, to be strong and that feelings are nothing but a sign of weakness. It’s been very painful to shed this outdated belief. To not view it like a disappointment to her, like I am rebelling and going against her wishes and teachings. After all I was taught to value our elders, to listen and respect their opinions and teachings. At the end of the day I am grateful this wound was triggered in conversation with someone that means a great deal to me, and an opportunity for healing was given. It is needed to move on and you see it’s like that…

“Pain is like a darkness. It must be welled up or it becomes our shadow!

~Vaishnavi Velu

I didn’t try to hide the tears, I didn’t try to hold them in or disguise my feelings during our conversation. They came, unplanned, but with a purpose, and I allowed them to flow through me as they must instead of suppressing them. We can’t help but feel helpless and bad when we see someone crying, especially if we care for that person. There are times we would rather carry the pain for them and protect them from harm, and I’m sure you have felt this way before. But have you ever realized that a person that cries in front of us is actually sharing a most vulnerable and beautiful part/version of themselves with us? A version of their most authentic self that often stays hidden away. Why? Because of our teachings, what we learned from our elders and what is acceptable and expected behavior. I used to hide my tears and I used to cry alone. Not to show any weakness like Mom taught me, and not to make anyone feel uncomfortable like society taught me. I spared them from me, knowing the agony they would feel of not knowing how to console me. And while all this self discovery work has left me feeling soft at times as if I have lost my warrior spirit, I remind myself that this previous version of myself was created out of trauma. Out of pain and old, outdated, principals that never applied to my most authentic self. A version catering to what was expected of me, being a good daughter, and to what was convenient for society. It kept under wraps what was crying on the inside and what was trapped over decades. Seeing it this way is truly an empowering process and a milestone in our journey to ourselves. A journey of self discovery, darkness and pain, and eventually coming into our own.

So while the next version of myself is loading, all I can do is sit back and embrace the process of becoming unapologetically myself. To trust the journey in total surrender and with no regrets or fears. And believe me it does require a warrior spirit to do so.

Author:

We are the co-creators of our life and the time is now. More than ever are we needed to support Mother Earth and each other. Together we discover and explore our unique gifts in times of strengths, in times we lean on each other, and in times when we learn from each other. This blog started as an outlet and what I ultimately called my “Warriors Journey.” It was a way to document the ups and downs of my life, sharing my hardships as well as my successes. It showcased the struggles, but more important the ways of how to overcome them. Although we are warriors each and every day, I realized that having to be a warrior, comes from a place of pain. I decided to rename this blog, and “Phoenix Rising” now stands for the story of overcoming such a painful place. My motivation for this blog hasn’t changed and I hope to share inspiration and hope, to create a sense of belonging, a space of being heard, and connecting with like minded beings who instill a sense of oneness. We are never alone, and we are unstoppable in the pursuit of what sets our soul on fire. Who I am in a nutshell... 
I am an energy healer and Reiki Master. I am surviving a chronic disease that I’ve sent into remission three times since my initial bout, 15 years ago. I continuously challenge the status quo and by doing so I change my stars. I am a believer that anything is possible. I am a hopeless romantic and I believe that true love exists on various levels. I am an optimist that will always see the glass as half full. I am a dreamer, believing in endless possibilities. Not even the sky is the limit. I have jumped off of the hamster wheel, and I am writing a new chapter. I am chasing my Nirvana to support my most authentic self. This is my story, I am that Phoenix and I am rising from the ashes. Namaste 🙏🏼💙🦋

19 thoughts on “Unapologetically myself

  1. This is a MAGNIFICENT piece of writing, of self-awareness, of vulnerability as strength. It has been a long, long time since I read something that spoke to me so much. Breaking free of the chains and constraints that we were taught were ‘right’ is so very hard, and so very personal, and yet you have somehow made this universal.

    My mother was an amazing woman, very strong, very competent, and yet, and yet… she taught me these things: “life isn’t fair,” “you’d rather be smart than pretty” (can you be both, I asked, innocently), and her favorite saying: “buck up”. I think your Mom and mine had many things in common.

    So how do we let go of their voices in our heads while still honoring the parts of them that made us strong?

    By working through it, as you are so obviously doing.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Grace and mercy to you,

    Kim

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Kim, I am beyond flattered and you have no idea what your comment has meant to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
      I’ve wrote this post, hoping it could become a chapter in my book about the various levels of pain that I recently started to write. Your feedback is invaluable to me in determining if the writing is good enough and how it is perceived by the reader. It’s not only intended to tell my story but to connect and give those struggling something to hold on to when the sky is gray. And we have all been there in one way or another.
      Your Mother sounds a lot like mine and I know this journey all too well. It took until my mid 50’s to recognize and see the scars some of these outdated beliefs I grew with had truly left on me. How damaging they were and what darkness they created.
      It’s so wonderful and nourishing to find like minded souls, souls that have walked the same path with some of the same experiences and allow you to be heard.
      Bless you and a million thank you’s. I will cherish your insight and feedback and allow it to motivate me to keep going.
      Much love to you. 💙

      Like

  2. You have really got into hard work here, dear Rhapsody.
    It isn’t easy to shed the layers, as we were taught to use, while we were not that old.
    You are doing a great job and becoming your authentically self, which might help your general health too. When you shed all layer by layer, you will get inflammation in your joints, which might heal for the better, as you become the soul, as you were meant to be, dear friend.
    Send you much love and huge hugs, I feel that you need this now ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This would be so wonderful and I love your perspective of shedding the layer that holds the inflammation as I merge with who I was meant to be. It sounds like wonderful motivation and inspiration to bring purpose to the pain and I will focus on the meaning of this. Thank you so much and thank you for the huge hug. Thank you for walking besides me and being such a beautiful light in my life. You may never realize what a difference you have made and I am beyond grateful for you. Here is to you, beautiful soul. Sending much love and light. 🙏🏼🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being a warrior is not just about physical strength, it is about inner strength. And sometimes it is just getting up in the morning and making it through the day without reverting back to habits that were sapping you of your inner strength. Congratulations for finding yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely and you nailed it. Often the mental battles require more of a warrior spirit than the physical ones, but they do go hand in hand. Thank you so much for your kind words and for seeing this process. XO 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This world does indeed have many expectations, and teach them to us well. And as it fleeces us of those masks as time goes by it leaves scars, ones that are a map of that journey you so beautifully explained above dear lady. And unknowingly, at first, they build a bridge between those darker places so that we begin to see a light and can appreciate the precipice we had walked along…and did it now with more courage, strength and at times now, just let it go with a new found wisdom that begins to flower from our past. And speaking of flowers, the rose in your heart is blooming well from it all…just remember the thorns, they will stick us in an unguarded moment just to let us know what it took to hold that flower within ❤️ 🙏🏽
    A lovely post Rhapsody, thank you for sharing your destiny. May those experiences of warrior and slave know that their time to teach is done and now allow in what is left, the self love that each had taken but now must release to a new power, that inner love unshielded 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very kindly my friend. Is m slowly connecting my landscape of scars and with each travelled destination and each bridge crossed, a sense of serenity and acceptance is finding me. The resistance has fallen away, almost leaving behind a shit baring grin for having made it, despite all the challenges that are still present. It does give us a bit of an attitude to wear our head high doesn’t it, for we have accomplished the once thought to be impossible and we are still here, running, walking and sometimes crawling. But we are doing it.
      May the slave rest for awhile and marvel in it’s teachings.
      Big love to you. XO 💙😉🙏🏼🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And much love to you my friend, enjoy the feet up for a while…mind you, life tends to poke its nose in when least expected. But hey, we’d be bored otherwise 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋 😂 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think your words can speak to all of us whether we admit it or not. Like you I often wonder where the women I used to be went. The woman with the adventurous spirit who never thought twice, the one who cared what her family thought but did what she wanted anyway. Part of her is still there but I want a better stronger version of her to step forward. Our defeats and triumphants make us who we are, the good the bad, all of it. They shape how we percieve ourselves and the world. And some times we let the voices of others smother our own, dampening our spirit.. so we grow and adapt ever changing. I Never want to stop growing, i just want to be better than the version before..
    I was once told by a dear friend after I broke down crying and then apologizing like crazy for having done it, that the world would be a much better place if we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and show emotions and we werent afraid to lean on others.
    Be true to yourself, dont let the voices of others let you forget who and what you are…Stay strong and as one of my favorite authors would say…”stay to the light’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much for taking the time reading this lengthy post and then taking the time to comment and provide your feedback. If is truly appreciated and valued.
      Like you, I am not shooting for perfection but a better version, honoring and recognizing all the ones that came before that one. Knowing that despite I would do something differently this time around, I did the best back then. That’s the best self love and gift we can give ourselves. We never stop learning and therefore we continue to grow. I agree that the world would be a much better place if we managed to keep the ego in check and acted more from our heart space.
      Thank you for your advice and the care you put into your words here. For seeing me and for understanding. Bless you beautiful soul.

      Liked by 1 person

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