Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we will ever do – Brene Brown
Most of our childhoods are spent pretending and performing in order to fit in; to belong. We develop coping mechanisms to protect ourselves from inadequacy and hurt. However, pretence doesn’t serve authenticity well. Our polished and developed armour prevents us from growing into our God-given gifts. Maybe we needed these protections when we were growing up. Maybe we thought the armour could help us feel worthy, loveable and valued, but until we drop the need for people to like us, or stop worrying about what everyone thinks, we miss out on the freedom that living authentically brings. We were BORN worthy of love, respect and belonging; created to live and love wholeheartedly. Ironically, when we finally decide we want to show up and be seen, we are torn between desperately trying to stop pretending, and desperately doing whatever it takes so no one sees our struggle. Instead, we present our curated, edited selves to the world hoping to stave off vulnerability.
As I move into my 60s, I’m feeling my first true glimpse of mortality. What an irony that the very things that helped us survive childhood can ultimately hinder us becoming the people we want to be. Maybe you grew up looking after everyone because you had no choice. Maybe you were a people pleaser or hid some awful abuse. At destiny we help women who’ve spent the first part of their lives shutting off from their feelings so they don’t hurt – now trying to open up so they can heal.
Loving ourselves is possibly the most difficult and courageous thing we could ever do. This search for self-love and self-acceptance is something that will take our lifetimes. However, I don’t want to ever live having squandered my gifts, time, or love, leaving big chunks of my life unlived. Of course, there is the numbing option to take the discomfort off feeling pain or discomfort – eat more, drink more, buy more, work more, game more, stay busy. The alternative is to work through the pain and loss no matter how long it takes or how messy it is, so we can truly discover our imperfect, scared, brave, loving, giving, connected, creative, compassionate selves.
There is such power in the stories of the transformed lives of hundreds of women who have spent time at Destiny Haven. Women who have faced their pain and known belonging and acceptance here; women who are living heads-held-high lives, knowing that they are enough…and loved…just the way they are …and growing into their unique selves.
Destiny Haven CEO