For the past several days, the word courage and the act of being courageous has been front and center in my grill. The Universe is most definitely giving me a message, and I’m receiving it. I am courageous.
I’ve been shown what being courageous looks like in a thousand different ways.
We all think of someone being courageous on the field of battle, putting their life at risk for their country or a fellow soldier. Or a firefighter or police officer being courageous in the line of duty.
I’ve noticed a tone of sacrifice connected to being courageous. Courage under fire. Risking life and limb to protect and serve. These are people who have made a conscious choice to put themselves in harm’s way.
But there is another type of courage. Courage of walking in your truth. Courage of walking through the fires of fear and healing old traumas. Courage of becoming your authentic self, even when it stirs up a hornet’s nest to get there.
There is great courage in shedding labels and beliefs that were taken on so that a person could survive, so they could grow up. There is courage in digging deep and getting real with a life.
It’s so easy to wear cloaks that allow us to camouflage our true selves, blending in with the status quo, slowly killing our souls. It takes courage to even begin to figure out who we are as unique beings; because we are each unique expressions of our souls.
It takes courage to not only own that which is unique about us, but to fearlessly let the world see it.
As a woman who had damaging experiences early in my life, I never knew how that damage truly affected me until I started asking questions and looking into some things in my life that as an adult, were obviously not going well. It’s been because of this journey into myself that I learned just how much damage I had actually experienced. You see, when you are regularly hurt by your family, at some point, you accept it as normal. Your normal is skewed, and beliefs that you create about yourself and your life are also skewed.
The way you interact with the world is formed with your skewed perceptions, and at some point, something will arise, representing all the skewedness (I don’t know if that’s even a word, but I’m using it). Because you create your life from your heart and deeply held beliefs, if something about them is off, it will be reflected in what shows up in your life. Period. No exceptions.
I was able to look at this thing in my life that I never seemed to be able to get “on track” and ask why. The more I asked why, the more I was shown my damaging childhood. I began to learn that I had to create false beliefs about myself and hide my true self so I could literally survive. So here I was, a full-grown adult who had learned how to be a chameleon. I’d learned how to blend in, how to not rock the boat, how to help calm the monster and smooth the stormy seas; all at the expense of myself.
I’ve learned that the coping mechanisms and survival tools I created (beliefs and behaviors) were literally killing me. Health issue after health issue began to pop up.
As I created healing around a few of the issues that arose, I was able to see (using hypnosis as my tool of choice) how these diseases were created in the first place, and why. In doing so, I was able to affect immediate shifts in old beliefs that no longer worked for me, and were actually making me sick.
What I found, time after time, was that I had hidden my true self. Hidden her away in dark caves and under piles of rocks. I’d willingly taken on other people’s burdens in an attempt to placate them. I had a belief that I could control everything and everyone, and if I just juggled all the plates just right, I could keep them from crashing down. And yet, they kept crashing down again and again. And more often than not, right on top of my head.
All of that effort, of squashing myself into tiny boxes, of trying to control everyone around me, of subjugating my will and myself did nothing to improve circumstances. I had learned that I did not matter and try as I might, I couldn’t control anything.
The beauty of healing is, as one old belief is shifted, I am changed. And then as another old belief pops up which no longer works, and it is healed, I am changed more. Over time, I have changed so much that I am literally not the same person.
After having spent a childhood covering up and hiding my spirit from the world and from myself, I’ve coaxed layers of tarnish and soot to float away, revealing the brilliant light that is my essence and proudly stepping into my authenticity.
Today I am a strong and courageous woman who has learned to cherish and value herself. I have developed personal boundaries and do not allow myself to be regarded as less than. I have learned that my body is an amazing vehicle through which I experience this life, and I’m taking better care of it and appreciating it more than I ever have.
I’ve noticed that as I step more and more into my own authenticity, worries and fears drop away. As I treat myself better and honor myself, I honor those around me and treat everyone with more reverence. This is what my life is all about now. The more people in the world who seek their own authenticity and heal their wounds and insecurities, the more harmonious a world we will have.
Does it take courage to drop pretenses, to look within ourselves, and to step into our own authenticity? I think for many, it does. What stops people? Fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of repercussion from people they care about. Fear of pain. Fear of the unknown.
I spent a lifetime controlled by fear. One of the beautiful things I’ve seen in many of my hypnotherapy sessions is that fear only wields the power you give it. Once you know that, it doesn’t stand a chance.
Just kick that bitch to the curb and walk right through it. Step up and be yourself. That is courageous.