In a society where those with status and influence are put on a pedestal for us to idolize and revere, it can be all too easy to lose our way. When we look to the mainstream media and our modern culture for guidance, so many of us are left feeling hollow, like we’re going through the motions of our days instead of truly living. The lights are on but nobody’s home; it’s as if the soul has been drained from life. As girls, we are ripped away from our true nature before we even have the chance to understand it and we’re left to mourn the parts of ourselves we barely knew existed.
When it comes to living in a way that truly fulfils and nourishes us, we can’t look to another to show us the way; we must turn inward to find out what it is we truly need. We must begin to craft our own philosophy of life by drawing from our own unique experiences, by silencing the white noise of the world and its endless demands and opinions and instead tuning into the voice within. The one whose whisper holds more power and weight than the cacophony of conflicting propaganda provided by society combined.
When we are drawn to someone, either when they inspire us in some way or we have recognized in them a quality that we ourselves aspire to, it’s because parts of us that were lying dormant are beginning to stir. We see our potential shining in the eyes of another, but at first, we cannot comprehend that what we’re looking at is our own reflection.
We women have been stripped of our power for many generations, taught to fear our own inner fire; we are afraid of the destruction we’re told it can bring. But we forget that the element of fire is dual in its nature. When we learn to harness it, our inner fire has the power to ignite—it is the catalyst for change. And it’s in every one of us, just waiting to be reclaimed and integrated.
In those moments, when something resonates deeply with us, that spark of recognition is reigniting the fire. We can feel the sensations in our bodies, sense the stirring of our souls. This is when we know innately that what we’ve heard, read, or seen was meant for us, that the essence of it is already alive within us. An awakening isn’t always easy to pinpoint; it happens differently for us all. For some, it may be a mighty explosion, a roaring fire that threatens to engulf them in their entirety if they don’t learn to contain it. For others, it can be a slow burning ember, counting on them to stay present and attentive if they are to breathe life back into it.
Other people can be catalysts for our own personal evolution, but our growth is never someone else’s achievement. We must each take responsibility for the journey we embark on, embracing the fact that although there will be many lessons along the way, we will never find all the answers we are searching for without taking a long, hard look in the mirror.
To live from our sovereignty, we must be prepared to come face-to-face with the parts of ourselves that frighten and disgust us, the pieces that we’ve neglected, the parts of us that are wounded, withered, and deadened. We must uncover and revive the pieces of ourselves that we desperately tried to bury, believing these aspects of ourselves deemed us unworthy and unlovable. In order to heal, we must be willing to love and honor each of these pieces so that they can return to their place in the whole.
When we begin to do the work, we realize there is no going back. We learn to see with new eyes, to listen with new ears. To finally let ourselves feel our emotions in their fullness. Our self-awareness peaks and we start to see our unhealthy behaviors for what they are: our means to numb ourselves. We become aware of the ways that we shrink ourselves to make others comfortable. Eventually, we become certain that we have no choice but to leave our drug(s) of choice behind.
Each of us has our own path to walk, and the only way to begin is to take the first step. There is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for healing and, despite what we’ve been told our entire lives, I believe every one of us can feel the truth in the following phrase: You are your own healer.
As cliche as it has become, change really does begin within.