For as long as I can remember I’ve been struggling with something that felt so confusing and painful to talk about. An experience I had that led me to trust in a false belief that was formed at a very young age. It wasn’t until recently that something clicked inside my heart and I was able to see that I had allowed this lie to become a core belief, defining who I was and how I related to others.
Trusting this false belief robbed me of confidence, distorted my true potential, and most of all impaired how I was able to give and receive love.
I can trace this belief from a specific traumatic experience from childhood: fresh off the school bus one sunny afternoon, I was excited to tell my mother all about my exciting day in the first grade. She wasn’t in her usual spot in the kitchen, so the next logical place to look was her bedroom. The door to her room was just barely cracked open. I gently pushed it so I could see if she was in there. She was. But she wasn’t alone. I saw her in bed with someone who was not my father. As a kid I had no idea what they were doing—only as an adult could I understand what I saw—but it felt weird and wrong to my tiny 6 year old heart. Neither my mom nor the man she was with had noticed me, so I slipped out as quietly as possible and went to hide in my bedroom. I was afraid that I would get in trouble for what I saw, so I never felt safe enough to tell my mother what I walked in on that day.
That’s the moment it happened: The false belief that formed from this childhood experience was that it was better for me to hide than to allow myself to be seen. I learned to make myself small, to go unnoticed, to not consider myself, my worries or feelings as valuable and worthy of attention. I began to believe that it was safer to exist as invisible as humanly possible. To not rock the boat. That there was safety in being unseen.
This false belief imprisoned me in my own body. In my journey toward mental health and wellness I‘ve had to fight to free my emotions and feelings—to feel safe (within myself and with others) to let it all out of the tightly locked box, to give myself space to feel it all, and to let myself be fully seen. The fear that controls this false belief was so strong that it is something I’m still working on today. Healing is a lifelong journey, and with each passing day I’m closer to living in full freedom that can translate to giving and receiving love to myself and others on a whole new level.
Are you finished putting trust in your false beliefs? How have you taken steps to heal and overcome them?
The more we become aware of how to better listen to our own emotions and feelings, the better we are at loving and listening to others; and at the end of the day, that’s all anyone really wants: to feel safe enough to be seen.