For a long time now, I've wanted to be 'me'. To know me, to be free, more confident and to be authentic – the 'REAL' me.
Over recent weeks, for a variety of reasons and experiences, I've been facing the reality of my life – without masks, no pretence, just learning to be open and honest with myself and other close, trusted friends.
Becoming authentically 'me' hasn't been pretty. I've been facing hidden, unfelt, unknown feelings, buried deep within. It's been a very painful, tender and tiring few weeks, if not months.
I wrote a poem about how dark my heart felt during this time – I then realised that it wasn't a dark, evil heart as I'd thought – it was actually a bruised, broken, lonely, hurting and betrayed heart that had laid dormant inside a dark, heavy cloak of shame for far too long.
Coming to a realisation within myself that I'm not, and never was, a bad person and that I'd done nothing 'wrong', is something that I am working through and beginning to slowly accept.
I wanted it to all be 'sorted', just like that. But, as my friend shared, to face all that pain, all at once, would be far too much to handle. It is indeed a process, and I need to wait and trust for the healing to settle in as the pain is gradually let out.
Learning to be patient, kind and loving to myself is part of that process. I'm reminded of the 'Becoming real' part of the 'Velveteen Rabbit' story by Margery Williams:
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," the Rabbit asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Over time, I'd thought that maybe if I did certain things, in the 'right ways' with the right people at the right time/place (counselling, friends, etc...), then I'd be healed, whole and able to be my true self.
However, the journey is not quick and it's not easy and I've not always liked it! It is and has been so very painful to really face, feel and process deep, unspoken emotions. It's floored me a few times and the pain is so real that it strongly affects my body, mind and emotions. Letting out 'old stuff' hurts.
However, in doing so, I'm starting to see that it allows me to become 'authentically' me. It may take some time, and I may come out a bit shabby with most of my hair loved off, but that doesn't matter. My heart will be real, alive, breathing and free. And it doesn't matter what others think, because I'll finally be the 'REAL' me and be totally free.
A Moodscope member