There's no denying— I'm a really good actor, so good that even I believed the performance was real.
For much of my life I was a chameleon, subtly shifting to fit in without an inner sense of belonging. This is what is referred to as the fawning response to trauma. In an effort to avoid threatening another's power or position, to avoid making another uncomfortable, we assume the responsibility to anticipate what others need/want and become this, abandoning parts of ourselves in the process.
Shaelyn at school.
Shaelyn with these friends.
Shaelyn with those friends.
Shaelyn at work.
Shaelyn with one sister.
Shaelyn with another sister.
Shaelyn with men.
Shaelyn at book club.
Shaelyn in grad school.
Shaelyn in women's circles.
You get the picture. In one circle I'd highlight one quality which required masking another. Ever shifting, ever changing and almost always pretending or holding back.
This might be you if you never feel wholly free to lay bare all of you. This might be you if you tone down parts of yourself with certain people or if you tend to compartmentalize your life and keep your social circles separate.
Four years ago I began to wake up to the ways I was pretending. I've been going through my journal from that time and IT.IS.INTENSE. Every page includes the phrase, “the lie of my life.” I felt like a fraud. There were so many parts of me that I withheld out of fear of being judged. This plus I lacked the capacity to be with the discomfort of disappointing others to be true to myself. There was so many layers of disguise that I wore that I began to suffocate under it all.
Here's an excerpt from an old journal….laying it bare so my raw truth may spark your own…
i make myself smaller because too much is not okay
i bend to fit my mother’s view of the world
never threatening, always hiding in plain sight
a quiet desperation fills me though
one part wanting her love and shifting in pursuit of this
one part clawing my way out begging to be seen as I truly am
trapped in this space where being seen is not safe
so here’s the truth about me
rage hides right below this smile
angry for a life I tell myself I chose
worried what you’ll see
so I hide behind my home and clothes
this middle class existence all part of my disguise
but i’ve grown so exhausted living in this lie
the persona I’ve taken sometimes I think I hate her
i want a simpler life of which I am the true creator
no longer striving to fit in, a life where I belong
one that welcomes me both soft and strong
Once on the page there was no ignoring it anymore. I was exhausted from all the energy trying to hold it back, hold it in, hold it together and pretend all the damn time. This constant contraction left my joints aching keeping me from the easeful flow I craved. I was burnt out. I couldn't figure out to be both soccer mom and wild woman, professional and witchy woman, I thought had to choose. My inner fire literally smothered by the false identities I clung to and all the truth I swallowed. I felt stuck and the only way out was through and I've been weaving my way home ever since.
Now when women tell me they feel stuck, I hear
“I'm ready to cross a threshold and I don't know how.”
In order to cross the threshold from where we are to where you want to be, we need to feel safe, we need guidance, and we need to be nurtured every step of the way. We need someone who has already come out of hiding to draw our truth out into the light. This is my gift.
It is through the process of re-mothering that we create the inner safety to weave together all the threads of who you are, first leaving behind any false identities and next tapping into your true nature. These are some of the questions that guide my work with women. Sharing to inspire your own self-inquiry and remind you that I'm here if you are looking for 1:1 guidance. Book a free clarity call here.
🌱What feeds your roots so you feel safe and secure to express yourself fully?
🌊What feeds your flow so that you can access the ocean of emotion, creativity, intuition and wisdom that lives within you?
🔥What feeds your inner fire so you can live from a place of power, passion and purpose?
🌬What feeds your channel so are open to receiving as well as confident to share your voice, your wisdom and your unique gifts with the world?