I used to be very insecure, and I still am. I have very cruel self-critics that, most of the time, bring me down. I beat myself up every time I put myself out there.
I have low self-esteem. I used to hear so many bad things about how I looked; I didn’t look good because I had dark skin and was not tall and thin enough to wear any outfits I liked.
I then became afraid to be myself and behave as I wanted to, and somehow I lost it. I don’t know how to be myself because every time I try to act authentically, I have a lot of shame after.
A week ago, I went to Flores for five days. Given that Indonesia is a tropical country and the sun is very strong, I used to be very scared to wear a bikini or beach wear that exposed my skin so much because I didn’t want to get darker because of the sun. In my head, if I’m darker, I’ll look even uglier. And that people who see me will disgust by how ugly I could be.
But this time, I did it differently. I beat my inner critics by thinking, “If I look ugly, be it.” “If after the trip I become darker, be it; at least I get to have fun and do whatever I want to do on this trip!” And the results? AMAZING.
I chose to face my inner critics and yet decided to be authentic. I couldn’t feel more relieved and light on this trip. For the first time in my life, I set myself free; I gave myself a pearl of wisdom and privilege to be my authentic self by wearing bikinis and beach wear and exposing my skin to the sun. I WAS VERY HAPPY.
I started to feel like myself again. I let my insecurities arise, but I kept doing what I wanted to do anyway. Exposing myself to the sun, letting myself sweat and gets dark, and focusing on what I had in front of me — The beautiful Flores of Nature, Meeting new interesting peoples, witnessing the shared humanity of people who were also stepping out of their comfort zone and being myself.
The more you grow up, the more your inner wound comes to the surface. It happens to everyone. As much as I know it is excruciating, it is worth facing them with compassion and being honest that you are hurting.
Please bring to the awareness that you are wounded, and it’s okay. And once you get the awareness and start to work on it, I want you to start treating yourself differently by making a different choice.
It beats whatever inner self-critics you have because of the wound by shifting the gears.
You might find yourself trying something out of your comfort zone. For example, You used to be so afraid to go to the Theater alone because you felt ashamed to be seen alone. Then go to the Theater yourself, and watch whatever you want. And see how much you will enjoy it.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t acknowledge how hard it is to step out of our fear and shift the gears. I have been working on myself for years. I started seeing a therapist about five years ago, and opening up wasn’t easy at first. I changed therapists a few times and faced the judgment of my family when I decided to see a therapist. I doubted myself that I felt mentally ill and that I was overreacting.
But I chose to keep going, and until today I still see my therapist every two weeks; I went to a psychiatrist because my anxiety and depression are messing with my focus. And I no longer feel ashamed to feel what I feel. I finally can say it out loud; I AM WOUNDED, and I WANT TO FACE THE WOUND SO I CAN START HEALING.
Because when you begin to heal, you heal others too… You will behave differently, you will not see the world as cruelly as you used to, and you will stop seeing people scary because they might judge you; you can then start to make new friends because you will open up yourself more.
Another thing I want to share here is that we might feel lost from time to time, but as long we are honest with ourselves, the path will find us by itself.
I want you to know that You can do it. All you have to do is be honest and trust yourself.
I write mostly for myself, sharing some of it with you :)
Take care until then,