Truth happened to me.
Abandonment followed. Authenticity was revealed and love rose from the ashes.
Truth was in the shape of a bomb and my entire world as I knew it blew up in my face. I found myself sitting on the ground with a shitload of broken pieces and broken people; my hair was sticking up, my clothes were torn, and I had no idea where I was or who I was. The funny thing is, I set that bomb off. I lit that fuse and watched my whole life explode.
There were people that completely ran from this devastation, abandoning me and abandoning the turmoil. There were people that desperately tried to pick up all the broken pieces and put my life back together for me. And there were people that watched silently from the sidelines, with a grimace on their face, and spoke about my implosion among themselves.
This is when truth led me to search for a more authentic version of myself. The abandonment led to questions. And questions led to a deeper understanding. The struggle remained unspoken for many years, but truth cannot stay silent. Truth tells us something is not right. It nudges. It whispers in the middle of sleepless nights, it gently taps at your window and it stares back at you when you look in the mirror each morning.
So we begin. We begin to try and work towards a more authentic life. We work on self-awareness, we struggle, cry, try therapy, read books, we lean on friends, we journal, we scream, we breathe, and we believe. We believe as hard as we can in ourselves to overcome that roaring voice of fear. The voice that declares we stay quiet, stay hidden and to stay within the norm. We refused to stay silent. Silence is no longer welcome here. We begin to find power underneath the rubble and things start to feel right again. Our journey begins to feel justified yet there are still those people in our life that cannot understand.
Authenticity is bright, my loves. It’s a hot, white, brilliant light that will scorch your eyes like the sun. It refuses to go unnoticed. It refuses to be veiled. It is seen in all its glory. It’s unique and it’s exclusive to each human on this Earth. But it is not easily found.
Throughout childhood and years of people telling us how we should be, society shoving the formula of success down our throats, the do’s, the don’ts, the smiles and the masks, we become a product of what is deemed comfortable for those around us.
I remember my dad shushing me every time I would cry. It wasn’t his fault. He was taught to hide emotions, so that is what he taught me.
I developed anxiety knowing I had to be a certain way around people. Sometimes I would feel like I was “too much” or perhaps that the version expected of me was not enough. I would turn bright red when people would speak to me because I didn’t ever know who to be in order to respond. I hated being talked to or questioned. I was told to be one way, but I FELT another.
I had to be brave to express again, and know that it’s okay to express myself. Being brave means nothing more than showing up in our own truth. Not everyone can do this. It takes a lot of power to walk in our truth. It takes courage to unlock its code. Magic is not easily uncovered. It’s buried and hidden in the dark crevices of our soul. Within darkness is where the treasure lies. We just have to be daring enough to explore, to discover, and to reveal who we really are and who we are meant to be.
We do not wake up one day and find our truth and live an authentic life. Finding our truth is like ripping our insides out. It’s tearing our body in half. It’s killing the old you, and re-emerging as a new you. It’s painful. It’s silencing demons on a daily basis. It’s believing in ourselves when no one else does. It’s lonely. It’s dark. It’s up. It’s down. It’s hyperventilating through tears. It’s mental breakdowns, it’s uncomfortable and it’s fucking scary. It’s standing on the edge of a cliff and looking down into a dark, unknown hole and you either jump or start the trek back. If we jump, we need to let go, fall freely, and have confidence that we will eventually land on two feet. Solidly. Grounded. Anew. There is no one to save you but you.
And the others, they will envy us. They envy that light because they want their own, but they do not want to do the work. They do not want to jump. Or maybe they don’t know how. That’s okay, that is not our story to own. It is theirs. They want us to keep our mask on. “I was comfortable,” they will say. But it is not our job to bring them comfort. “You’ve changed,” they will say. But it’s not our job to stay the same. “Your light is intimidating,” they will think. But it’s not our job to stay inviting.
When my world exploded, when I was left with bits and pieces of the only world I knew, most people scrambled to get away but the best people held space. They sat down with me. They didn’t leave. They didn’t try and fix anything. They didn’t try and say the perfect words or cover up my feelings with clichéd bullshit. They dusted the dirt off my cheeks and said, “I’m ready to move when you are.” They took my hand; we sat, embraced love and embraced silence.
When I was ready, I rebuilt. I rebuilt with my new voice called Truth and day-by-day, love began to grow. Not from my surroundings, but from within. My foundation was strong. The people around me were true and uncertainty was beautiful.
Love was different this time. Love didn’t come from validation or approval or ego or pride. Love was not soft and pretty and gentle. No, love was the hard shit. Love was piecing myself back together bit by bit, hands trembling and with no absolute guarantees. Love was letting go when my hands bled from holding on. Love is not something you attain, love is something you become.
We are allowed. We are powerful when we are in truth. When we trust ourselves and stand by our words and our actions, we create purpose. By not empowering others to believe we are something we are not, we are embracing authenticity. When we are our own authentic self, those who walk with us will also emit their own truth, and their own authentic self. So while authenticity may push some away, it will attract others, more authentic selves to walk with us.
The question is, whom do you want by your side?
Together, with our arms extended and our hands grasped, we will walk into the light. It’s warmer here. It’s accepting here. And most importantly, love lives here.