Posted on November 24, 2018
Embracing My Whole Self
I haven’t been showing up in the authentic way I truly want to. In order to honour my whole self, I realize I need to share something that I haven’t been sharing for almost 6 years. It is a big part of my life that truly led me to who I am today.
In my classes and coaching sessions, I repeatedly say connect with all of you and honour your whole self. If I am to model what I teach, I feel it is time to embrace my whole self by sharing this part of my experience which I’ve left out for too long.
It was never my intention to disregard this part of myself and my life. When I chose to become a life coach, I had the full intention of sharing this aspect of myself. I’ve never been ashamed of my past, I am proud for how I’ve learned and grown from it over the years. I never meant to it leave it out for this long, and would have shared this years ago, but I was sensitive to my partners challenging custody case. We didn’t know how it may affect his court case, as he fought to have an equal part of his children’s lives, so I chose to stay quiet.
In the four years it took for the custody case to complete, my lack of talking about and sharing this part of myself, caused me to put it out of my mind. It became something I felt I couldn’t talk about and I eventually I believed it wasn’t something I was meant to share anymore. Not realizing that overtime these thoughts and actions were making me feel this was an unwanted part of myself. As I reflect on this now, I realize I have been feeling something was missing in my heart, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I had been experiencing deep sadness and frustration in my mind and body for a while. Today, as I reconnect with my full past, with myself, I feel my wholeness and a new vibrancy returning.
I feel shifts mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually by opening myself back up to this truth, I know this is the path I am meant to walk.
I’m grateful for a few amazing friends who have recently welcomed conversations and asked about my past that slowly brought me to this renewed awareness. A dear friend encouraged me to share because she feels my experiences are so important to express. I have to agree. Thank you all for your love and support.
It has been 2 years now since we got 50/50 custody of Matt’s children and it is time. I want and need to show up fully to honour my whole self.
Allow me to tell you about my journey…
At the age of 33, I reached a pivotal point of my life and finally fully acknowledged I had to change.
It may surprise you to know that at 33, half of my life had been spent cycling in and out of addiction and harmful behaviours. From a high school life of alcohol, marijuana and parties, to ending grade 12 addicted to heroin, I was lost and confused. Yet I had drive, I worked and went to school, I graduated from college, even taking on my first role at the bank; I was a functioning addict. All awhile, believing deep in my heart that this couldn’t be the path I was meant to live. I was constantly trying to quit. And at 21, I finally broke free from heroin, which brought a liberating sense of empowerment to my life. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I’d spend the next 12 years in addictive life cycles with moments of sobriety to binge drinking and dabbling in other drugs.
On that pivotal June day in 2011, at the age of 33, a dear friend kindly reflected to me that I had been cycling through these addictions and unhealthy behaviours for half of my life. She asked me where I thought I’d be in 5 years if I didn’t change my ways. Feeling the terror of this question…that day I woke up. By the time I drove home from Edmonton to Calgary, I had new resolve to finally stop and change my life, and I did.
I had known for years that I wanted change (my journals ruminating with inner truths and frustrations). I didn’t love my life, nor the decisions I found myself making, but I didn’t know how to change or why it was so hard to do so. Now, after years of self-work and deeper self-awareness, I realize my needs of belonging, acceptance and love kept me entangled in that cyclical life of self-destruction.
Throughout those years I tried so many times to heal my habitual ways, I’d change social circles, I moved cities, but it wasn’t only an external change I needed, it was an internal shift of self-acceptance, self-love and courage. My journey into truth, uncovering my authenticity, and taking my life back took a lot of effort and time. I worked with a therapist and shaman/life coach and found profound change as I worked through the challenges that kept me stuck.
What is important for me in sharing this now, is how vital it is to honour your whole self in your life, not only in creating meaningful change, but also for being your true self. By not sharing and acknowledging this part of me since moving to the east coast, I feel like I was missing a part of myself. Just like how the true part of me was missing in all those years of cycles and addiction. Even giving myself permission now to talk about it, and writing this blog, I feel a sense of liberation, a renewed sense of self-love, and appreciation for all I have overcome in my life.
If we push away parts of ourselves, it’s like saying you’re not valuable and I don’t love you. We need to love and honour all parts of ourselves to show up fully as our true self.
Over time I imagine myself sharing more of this part of my life, the journey, the lessons, and the transformation into who I am today. But for now, I’d like to say…
“Hi, I’m Brenda, good to meet you… again.”
If my story resonates with you, or you feel you’d like to connect for any reason, please do.
I’d love to hear from you.