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Freedom Found In The Shadow

I recall the first time I sat my parents down and told them of my childhood sexual abuse. I felt sick for days before the actual meeting. I was riddled with fear they'd not believe me. I was horrified they'd reject me. I was ashamed that another human being would know what I had endured.

Facing that fear was one of the most challenging yet liberating things I ever did for myself. It opened the door towards my wellness. It opened the door to allowing me to trust myself enough to get the help I needed to feel better.

The news was not necessarily received like one would think it would be in the movies. It was received by two people who had their own baggage, their own experiences, their own fears, and yet it was powerfully healing.

It allowed me to take other action steps towards my own empowerment.

Because of this willingness to reach out and reveal the hidden fear (shadow side), it catapulted me into wanting to feel even better about myself, so I sought out a mentor. What I received from her was the support and tools I needed to believe and trust in myself to do the work I needed to create the life I wanted. Again, this was neither instantaneous like the movies nor as glamorous but with a tenacious willingness to improve my life, and a willingness to work through it, regardless of the fear behind it (the fear of the outcome), I took the necessary steps towards wellness.

Moments of feeling like a failure definitely arose throughout the process. Feeling like a failure because I was comparing my success to that of others. Others of whom honestly I did not know their story, but rather through my ill feelings of myself concluded their success to be better than mine.

Moments of feeling like a failure because I'd reached a certain point of wellness and thought that should be enough, and never realizing that wellness is a never reached goal. Meaning it's something you strive for for the rest of your life----to be well.

Moments of feeling like a failure because I never took the time to truly honor myself and the success I had achieved, and through this feeling like a failure I began pointing the fingers at others. Needing someone to blame for my failing as it certainly couldn't be me because I was doing everything I could for my success. True---I was doing what I needed for my success, however, I was failing miserably for giving myself credit for the success. Failing to recognize there were three fingers pointing back at me----and they were my own fingers.

Slipping back into victim mode was so frighteningly easy. It was a role I had been in for so long that operating from it came from a place of auto-pilot. At times it felt like I was connecting with an old friend, who in truth wasn't a very good friend, but familiarity was enough for my solemn self. Then the cycle of emotions that came before repeated once again---anger, denial, blame, forgiveness, release, and lastly I'd once again ask for help. Such ridiculous self torture, and yet something I continued to do to myself for quite some time, until finally breaking that hold I had on myself. No longer needing the repeated pattern before asking for help----just ask now.

It's not enough to recognize there's a shadow side. It's not enough to 'wish it away', 'pray it away', or 'positive it away', it requires embracing it, cultivating it for something useful, and recognizing when it's trying to teach you something about you.

Ready to be free?

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