This year has flown by at rapid speed hasn't it? Such an intense roller-coaster of some of the highest highs and lowest lows; a year where if you've somehow managed to embrace the gifts disguised as challenges, the pay-offs have been big. For me, this year has been a colossal journey back to myself – and there's something incredibly powerful in returning to yourself after a long hiatus. Feeling rooted again; solid, yet fluid in my identity; aware of my strengths, accepting of my flaws, unwavering in the things that I place value on, and firm in my boundaries.
So, what is it exactly that keeps us estranged from ourselves for such a long time? Fear. The art of masquerading and morphing into another. Stories. The stories we tell about ourselves; the stories we allow others to tell on our behalf. Collectively, we have become award-winning storytellers. Trapped in the false identities we have created for ourselves; often to escape ourselves. But you know what's amazing about stories? They can be untold and reworked; there can be various plot twists and endless character development, but ultimately, you have to own your role as both protagonist and author.
Another significant factor that keeps us detached from ourselves is our tendency to be extremely self-conscious, which really in actual fact is self-unconsciousness. The act of being so consumed with how we appear to another that we completely lose sight of ourselves. For me, this is the one I've struggled with the most. It sounds crazy now that I'm writing it down, but I can recall times when I've asked someone for directions and become completely preoccupied with how my face looks whilst I'm listening – is my concentrating face overly hostile? Am I coming across grateful enough? – that I ultimately check out; the words become noise and I don't actually take in any of the information. I end up lost. Literally and metaphorically. It's just this weird thing I have – or had (now I use Citymapper); an unfortunate side effect of being hypersensitive and highly intuitive. For instance, I'm someone who notices the person noticing me, noticing you. Exhausting? YES. And that's one of the main reasons I am so committed to challenging some of the self-destructive behaviour born out of unconsiousness; energy-depleting patterns that are so obviously rooted in self-limiting beliefs (so again, false stories) and chronic conditioning. Fundamentally, the more we let go of this obsession around how we're appearing, the more we become ourselves. The more we let go, the less we risk to lose.
I made an empowering observation a few days ago during a conversation I was having with an acquaintance (who let's just say is very fond of conversing). Five minutes into our very one-sided conversation, I started to observe my all too familiar I'm-loving-listening-to-you-speak performance kick in; my soft, polite smile, my gentle gaze. But as he continued, completely self-absorbed and almost oblivious to my presence, I allowed my smile to fade and I relaxed into my disinterest. I didn't care about this man's story and for the first time in a long time I didn't care that he might realise. In fact I hoped he would. He didn't. I've learned that when the energy is grounded and equal, the effort is mutual – he was so wrapped up in himself that he didn't even register the moment I disconnected. Regardless, I stopped caring about how I appeared and felt a sense of freedom to be authentically me in that moment. That's how I wish to show up in my interactions; that's how I choose to show up for myself. I recognise that whilst my intention is to always maintain a level of grace and respect in my communication, I'm not here to hold space for self-indulgence or give attention to things that drain my energy. I'm not here for you. I'll never be rude, just real. Match my energy and I'll authentically match yours. Every. Single. Time.
Once, a coach asked in response to my self-consciousness, 'What are you afraid they'll find out about you?' And to this day I still don't have an answer to that question. So maybe that's just it. Nothing. There's absolutely nothing to be discovered or unearthed that could make you less worthy, less valuable, less deserving of love and respect. It is safe to re-enter your body.
I am Honey.
I am home.