I lived many years of my life in complete denial of my reality.
Denial of how unhappy I was. Denial of the fact that my relationships were not healthy. And denial of who I was, who I was really was, at the very core of my being. Living my life in denial meant I had to create masks for many occasions, and for many different people. It meant I had to go against the grain of my own soul, and of my wants and needs. And it meant denying myself the opportunity to experience true happiness and joy.
I'm not even sure I was aware of what I was doing. I had become accustomed to living against my true self, that it became a "normal" way of being. But deep down, I knew something wasn't right, I intuitively knew that what I was doing was not serving me, or anyone else. I was not living in alignment with my truth and my heart. I was not being honest with myself.
I remember all the excuses I gave to others, and to myself. I remember trying to justify my choices because others questioned my happiness, they could see right through me. They felt my suffering, they sensed my inauthenticity.
It came to a point where I was beginning to experience severe anxiety and health issues. Because I was not living "in truth" with my hearts deepest desires, things started showing up in my physical being. I was out of balance and alignment with my self and with my soul.
I needed to do something and I knew what I needed to do. I had to get honest with myself, really, truly and deeply honest with everything. I had to lay it all on the table and look at where I was, what I was doing, and most importantly, why I was doing it. I had to understand myself, and my choices.
So I sunk right in and I went deep. I realized there was so much "unconscious" stuff going on beneath the surface that it was dictating my choices and controlling my decisions. I knew the moment I got honest with myself, everything would change. And it did.
Sometimes we want things to be, and to appear so perfect to others that we sacrifice our own soul, and we often do this for acceptance. We neglect our truth and what our heart really wants because we fear what others will think, what we will think of ourselves, and we fear the outcome of change, and of uncertainty. So we live our lives without being truthful to ourselves. Not just in relationships but in other areas of our lives as well such as our careers. We go about our days being who we are expected to be just to please others, we wear the masks we create, and we force a fixed smile to hide the tears that are screaming to come out.
We lie to ourselves until we decide to tell ourselves the truth.
Honesty is healing, it brings change, and it sets you free. It brings new breath and new life to your lungs. It's the key to unlocking your truth, your authenticity and your true self.
The most important thing I tell myself often, and as morbid as it may sound, is that I am going to die one day. And I refuse to die with the beautiful essence of who I am buried beneath a mask of someone who I am not.
It's okay to admit your marriage isn't working, that you do not like your job, it's alright to leave friendships that drain you and make you feel bad about yourself. Because at the end of the day, if your heart isn't in it, you shouldn't be either.
Trust yourself enough to get honest with yourself, and give yourself permission to be you, in a world where everyone expects you to be someone else.
When you know something or someone in your life is unhealthy or unproductive, that you have grown beyond where they are and where they want to keep you, you must let go. If you tell yourself you do not see it when you do, or if you tell yourself it will get better, you are not being honest with yourself. Stop trying to fix things or change things. Simply let go.
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Mindset and Self Development Coach and author of #1 Best Selling Book, "Heart Is Where The Home Is."
Inspired by her health issues in 2012, Vanessa began her journey of natural healing after unsuccessful attempts to find answers through Western medicine. She eventually found relief through natural healing therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and natural herbs.
Learn more about Vanessa.
There's a funny thing we, as humans, often do. We try to resist what is. We don't accept our lives as they are, and eventually we become resentful for things not turing out the way we expected, the way we planned.
Here's the thing, if we aren't happy or content with an aspect of our lives, we need to do something to change it, and change can not happen without intention and action. We need to recognize what's not working for us. But it's also important to accept where we are, as resistance only causes us grief, anger, resentment, and frustration. Which is fine to a point; sometimes this is what fuels change, however, if this is a constant state, something will eventually give.
On the flip side, if you are one who planned your entire life, but it did not go according to your plan, and you refuse to accept your life as it is, you simply can not enjoy it or appreciate it. You can't be completely happy living in resistance.
I was talking to a friend recently who appeared to have a lovely life. She had sweet children, a caring husband, and a great career, but she often spoke about how she thought she would be living somewhere else, and that she had only planned to have one child, not two. She would "complain" that life wasn't what she thought it would be, and it really bothered her, enough to talk about it quite frequently.
She was caught up in the fact that life had happened beyond her control, and that it had a plan of its own. Her ego was trapped in what should have been and she was unconsciously and consciously refusing to allow herself to accept the beautiful life she had. I shared with her the importance of acceptance, and how the more she resisted her life, the more she resented her life. I also spoke about gratitude and how life-changing it can truly be. When we are thankful for everything and everyone around us, it puts us in a state of peace and contentment, and takes us out of a state of constant need, want, and resistance.
I had my friend write a physical letter to the Universe and I suggested she write out every angry word she needed to get out of her system. Why she was angry, and how angry she was that her life was't what she expected and planned. I then had her shift emotions to acceptance and gratitude, thanking the Universe for her beautiful family, her amazing husband and her fruitful career. This "simple" act of writing the letter, completely released the resistance and deep upset she had held onto for so many years.
It changed everything for her. She found, and felt joy again.
Happiness can exist only in acceptance. – George Orwell
We need to remember that while we are in control of ourselves, we have no control over every outcome. We can't control what the Universe delivers to us and decides we need for our growth, and for our journey. If we can come to a place of acceptance, of every element cast upon us, and choose how we respond to each outcome, we can then find true peace within.
Acceptance simply means being okay with what is, embracing what is, and not giving time or attention to what isn't. Because what isn't, wasn't meant to be. We can end our own suffering when we accept with grace what life delivers to us. Understand the Universe is always supporting you.
Remember you aren't expected to accept circumstances that aren't healthy for you, or serving you purpose. If that is where you are, perhaps it's time to dig deep within your soul and recognize what needs to change and move forward with courage to make those necessary changes that your heart is asking for.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu