Everybody wants to find their place in the world, whether they’re aware of it or not. And when I say these words, I’m not talking about the labels, the tick boxes, or the bullet points of one’s identity, rather the essence and the truth that lies at the depths of everyone’s soul, desperately wanting to be seen and heard.
For me, this has been (and continues to be) my main mission in life.
However, this journey is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it is nothing short of a boundless challenge. There are no lines drawn in the sand to signify where it all begins or ends, but instead only the sounds of a faint melody continuously playing in the background to an elaborate dance that requires precision, composure, mindfulness, and exploration.
In life, we are continually influenced every step of the way. We navigate the choppy waters of family dynamics, the patterns, roles, and personalities of friendships and partnerships, as well as the socially acceptable constructs and ways of being in the world, we are moulded and shaped.
At our cores, we seek to love and be loved. We crave attachment, security, a sense of belonging, and a place in the world to call our own. But at times, we become so desperate to fit that we continuously and often unconsciously adjust and define ourselves by the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in.
For myself, it was hard to not reinforce behaviours that were expected of me. My identity consisted of elements that I had constructed and built, but also components that I unintentionally adapted to and was given. It was easy to stay the person people thought I was instead of becoming the person I needed to be, the one who would finally voice my truth. So, even with the best intentions, it was difficult and felt nearly impossible at times to change.
As life piled on, I would push things aside and sweep them under the rug. I would swallow my words and take deep breaths. I would pretend and convince myself that everything was okay when it wasn’t. And I would try desperately to not rock the boat, especially when the waters were already rough.
But what I’ve learned is that if it’s a deeper relationship you seek with others, or if it’s a more authentic connection; if it’s conversations filled with honesty, as opposed to the small talk surface bullshit; if it’s a genuine attachment that you crave, glued together by an actual bond, rather than a false sense of security; or if you simply long to know yourself, your true self outside of the identity you have built as a means of protection, then deep down, you know that something needs to change.
And if you wear your heart on your sleeve; if you have big expectations and wild dreams; if you’re beautifully sensitive; if you feel deeply; if you have ventured into the depths; if you have endured the long dark tunnels; and if you have willingly gone into the brutally uncomfortable spaces in order to recognize and understand your truth, then you know there is no other option but to speak it loudly.
Now, this is no easy feat. In fact, it is excruciatingly difficult. And if you’re like me and you have a tendency to accommodate or bend and curl a little easier in order to please others, then finding your voice and speaking it can be downright painful.
So how do you do it? Where do you find your truth?
You have to face fear and doubt head on, which on a good day can be incredibly frightening. Like immovable giants, they will guard and protect that truth at all costs. They will try to sell you on its unimportance, and they will manipulate and convince you of the immense havoc it will cause. They will smash your confidence and even confuse your narrative in an attempt to throw you off course.
So to find your way, you will have to remember that fear and doubt can only survive in the older versions of yourself. They can only gain strength and power when you revert back. And it will seem easy to recoil, because the truth is messy, uncomfortable, illogical, and at times even immature, but you will need to remember that’s only because it has never been voiced—it has never been spoken.
And if you make it past those giants, to the moments in time where you begin to lower your defences, to the moments where you let your coping strategies rest, you will start to feel that truth rise up to the surface, and before you know it, it will begin to erupt without so much as a thought or a plan as to how it will all play out. But that won’t matter. Because at that time, the only thing that will matter is speaking it and speaking it loudly.
Because your story matters. Your feelings matter. And your truth matters. And at times, your truth will be all you have, the only real currency of the world as a means to understanding and truly connecting with others. And over time, you will find comfort in that space. There will be light in those tunnels, and everything will begin to feel easier and better—I promise.
And of course there’s a risk, there always is, but trust me, it’s worth it. Because it allows you to know yourself, to truly know yourself. It allows you to focus on being present, rather than indulging in your past through your defensives and your ways of protection. It allows you to live authentically—is there any other way? And it allows you to affect others.
Your intricacies, your sensitivities, and how you interact with the world impacts others. When you voice your truth with confidence without hesitation or pause, when you put yourself out there and when you expose your vulnerabilities, it creates space for others to do the same.
Others will start to sense your freedom, they will become curious and at times jealous, and as they investigate they will realize how badly they want it too. And soon a world will be born, one that is more honest and truthful with one another, and one that is able to heal and grow with one another. And it will be truly beautiful, it really will.
So hold on to yourself and your truth. Know the value of that aspect of yourself and don’t let it go by unnoticed. Don’t let it hide in the depths. Embrace the fear and embrace the doubt. Be honest with who you are, unapologetically, and respect others when they tell you who they are. Because your truth will be complicated and messy, but it will also be the purest thing you will ever know, and in that sense you can always trust it.