Just lying on the couch in the sunshine with my computer on my lap and a cat curled up at my side. The house is quiet and for the first time in a long time, I actually feel relaxed and peaceful. Part of being at peace is because I have finally been able to take off some of the masks that I’ve worn all of my life and accept the reality of my life and who I really am and have started to let people know the real me.
If you have been following this blog, you will know that relaxed and peaceful is not how my life has been over the past year. It has been a year that felt like being on a roller coaster ride most of the time. I’ve felt the highest highs and the lowest lows and some days and weeks I felt like I had fallen into the pit of despair and would never get out again. It’s been quite a ride.
I know that much of this has to do with the energy shifts that are happening, but there is another level to my experience that I don’t often talk about.
I have been off work for over a year now, recovering from burnout and trying to heal and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been taking courses, going to workshops, working with counsellors and seeing my favorite doc at least every month. I’ve talked about most of this on the blog, but I left out some parts of my story and kept on my mask. I realized over the past few weeks that I kept the mask on because I was afraid to let people know the real me.
I was working on identifying one of my patterns of behavior the other day using a technique called Conscious Core Transformation, and discovered a belief that I held about my self that was a real eye opener for me. I was holding this belief: “I am a pathetic excuse for a person – weak and crazy and unacceptable and nothing will ever change this fact”
I’ve held this belief for over 20 years of my life, yet this was not the part of me that I have ever shown to the world. I’ve always worn the mask and behaved in ways that kept that belief hidden from other people. I have never in my whole life exposed the real me to the world. I was too afraid of being rejected.
I have always gone out of my way to prove to other people and my self that I am a wonderful person, that I am strong, that I am sane. I presented this way to the world because I really needed to prove this to myself. I just wanted to be loved and accepted by others and did and said whatever I thought others expected from me so that I would not be abandoned and alone. At some level I thought that if others loved and accepted me, the perhaps I could love and accept myself. I’ve done this all of my life and keeping up this persona is exhausting.
It means stopping to think carefully about what I should say and do all of the time. It means hiding the real me and pretending to be someone who I think is acceptable. It means living a life of lies.
It was just this week that I really began to see what I was doing and why. And it was just yesterday that I decided that I am not going to do this anymore. It’s time to be who I am and stop hiding out behind the mask.
A few things happened that started to take the mask down. I am seeing a counsellor who is helping me with what had become an agonizing decision about going back to work for my former employer. I had worked with the agency for almost 10 years in a professional capacity and would be returning as a secretary. Ouch!!
To be able to do this, I have to take off the mask of believing that I needed to work as a professional to prove that I’m okay. The fact that the job has led to burnout 4 times in 10 years didn’t matter. I was just not willing to let go of that belief- until now. I have finally accepted that I am an amazing person regardless of the type of work that I do. One mask removed.
And, I had an open and honest conversation with my daughter this week about the type of spiritual work I plan to do. I have kept my spiritual beliefs and gifts a secret from my family. My daughters has strong christian beliefs, many of which I’m uncomfortable with. We just refer to my “hooga booga” stuff and we leave it at that. I’m finally starting to talk about it all with them. I had a fear that they would reject me if they knew the truth.
I finally opened up to my daughter this week and explained the soul realignment work I was doing. She had been on a retreat with her church and the speaker had taught similar things that I had been studying. This opened the door for an open discussion and I took off the mask and told her more about my work and gifts. Not only was she open to hearing, she was interested in having me do some work with her and she volunteered to help with some of my projects.
She was the family member I was most concerned about being real with and this conversation has made me know that it is okay to be real with my family about my spiritual beliefs and work.
The next day, I saw the psychiatrist that I’ve been working with for over 9 years. Over all of those years, I have been cautious about what I tell him because of my fear of how he would react. I really kept up the mask in his office. But slowly over time as I learned to trust this truly amazing man, the mask came down – a bit. This week for the first time, I started to talk about some of my spiritual beliefs. I was afraid to do so because I did not want him to tell me that I was delusional and needed more drugs, or worse, should be in an institution.
But I took a risk and took off the mask and started talking about the soul realignment work I had experienced and decided to learn. I told him about the entity that I learned was attached and I told him how this affected my life, both having this experience and having the entity removed. And then the most amazing thing happened. He started to affirm all of what I had said and how he was aware of so many spiritual things and felt unable to talk about his perspective with his patients. We had our first open, honest spiritual conversation. By taking off my mask, he was able to take his off as well. It was an amazing, freeing experience.
Talking about my psychiatrist is also taking off a mask. I’ve lived with anxiety all of my life, with depression for over 20 years and have been challenged by my tendency to dissociate in stressful situations to the extent that it was labeled as a disorder. This has had a very significant impact on my life as I have had many months and years of not being able to do much of anything when the symptoms are really bad, even so bad that I needed to be in the hospital for extended periods of time.
Yes, I experience burnout and I’m okay talking about that, but what I don’t talk about is that this triggers symptoms of depression and acute anxiety and dissociation which leaves me unable to work until I can get it all under control again.
I’ve been on medication for over 20 years, easing the symptoms enough so that I could at least function in the world. The problem I ran into this past year was that there was no longer any available medication options to ease the symptoms. I’ve been on every drug on the market, tried every possible treatment in the medical community and still the symptoms are there. I currently take a combination of 6 drugs just to be able to function. There are very few people in my world that know about this secret, but it is what it is. This is the real me. Another mask off.
I made the decision earlier this year that I would find a way to heal and I’ve been exploring alternatives and learning new tools and techniques to help myself. So far, the herbs I’m taking are helping, I’ve uncovered and healed many limiting beliefs, I’ve come to terms with much of the trauma of my childhood which has affected me and I’ve experienced energy and spiritual healing work.
I can’t say that I really feel well, but I have made amazing progress towards health. I don’t know exactly how or when, but I do feel confident that one day soon I can let go of all of the drugs and counselling and actually be well – for the first time in my life. That will indeed be cause for celebration.
In the meantime, I’ve come to accept that this is my life. I don’t always like the challenges, but I am starting to see the gifts, strengths and abilities that I have gained through all of these experiences. I now have an image of what this has meant in my life and how it has all taught me so much that I can now teach to others.
Up until now, I’ve been in the dark, experiencing pressure and the fires of hell. This has been my development process and this is how a diamond is formed in nature, with heat and pressure. And just this week, I am truly able to see the diamond in me that has been formed by all of my difficult experiences. I am starting to shine. And the reason that I can finally see this in me is that I’ve taken off some of the masks that have kept my brilliance hidden.
That’s all I wanted to say today, just to remove the mask and start to let the true me shine. And I am enjoying the feeling of peace that comes when I just accept and share the real me.