“When you follow someone else’s path, when you chose to do things because you believe it is what others expect of you, and when you live by other’s expectations and opinions you will never see the beauty of who you are truly meant to be. There is so much more to your life than living it for others, and when you open your mind to new possibilities and listen to your own heart you will truly live an authentically beautiful life”.
gorgeous image above shared on #livingfearlesslyauthentic via @styleco_za.
I am not alone in this story . . . . Throughout my late teens and in my early twenties the last thing I wanted was to be authentically me. In fact it was quite the opposite, I wanted to be anything but myself. I considered who I was back then as unlovable, as never good enough at anything! I moulded myself to be what “I believed” everyone else wanted me to be. I hit a point when I first met my now husband that I decided I was just going to be me. No games, no pretending to be something I wasn’t, or enjoy activities I didn’t actually enjoy. If I felt sad I wasn’t going to pretend I wasn’t, and if he didn’t love me for who I was then he wouldn’t be the right person for me.
Obviously I married him, so clearly we both liked who each other was, but that was only the very beginning of becoming my authentic self. My journey was a long one, with plenty of ups and downs, and, as Whitney Houston famously sang;
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all
It really is true, I used to believe that loving yourself meant you thought you had no faults, but I have learned that it is about accepting yourself for everything you are, being the best version of yourself, and accepting your imperfections. I like to say I am perfectly, imperfect. I think that Whitney Houston song has a lot of great advice in it, but I don’t agree that “it is easy to achieve“, when you haven’t believed in yourself the majority of your life it can be a real struggle to change your mindset. The thing I will say though is it is absolutely achievable! You just have to want it! You have to want it enough to work for it, but it is worth every bit of effort!
I know I am not alone in this story, I am not so different to anyone else, my story isn’t so unique, yes our struggles, our past hurts and journeys are not the same, but we all struggle, and we all ultimately want to be accepted and loved for who we actually are!
There is no doubt it is easier to talk about our past mistakes or hurts once they are over rather than whilst going through them, but they truth is we are all going through things and we shouldn’t feel ashamed or feel we have to hide them. I honestly believe that showing what we consider to be our weaknesses actually reveals our greatest strength. Being authentic, being real in a world of fake media, and add campaigns is an amazing achievement! Something you should be proud of. Our past mistakes, or things we have been hurt by do not define us, they are where we once were, they cannot label us or hold onto us if we chose to move forward from them. Just as our current struggles are not something we should feel ashamed of, we need to embrace them and talk about them, or they will continue to stop us living and embracing authentically.
Living authentically is being vulnerable which can scare the hell out of us, but if people chose to judge us then that is on them! That is their insecurity, that is their weakness not yours! They may have past baggage that they can not open up about which causes them to turn away, but that is not your issue to work through it is theirs.
Our experiences, our mistakes, or the things that happened to us that we had no control over have had their role in shaping who we are, but they do not control us! They do not define us! We need to focus on our successes and not our failures. We need to celebrate the good in ourselves and forgive ourselves, we need to know we were not alone in those mistakes, we need to know that even though people hurt us, not everyone will! We need to trust in our ability to cope and to be stronger. We need to work on the things that still hurt us. We need to live our own truth, we need to love ourselves and embrace authenticity.
It really is OK to love yourself!
Going forward it is OK to start with baby steps, the more you begin to open up about what you feel, and who you are, the more you’ll discover you are not alone!
Now time for my monthly Favourites Round Up from the Instagram Community Living Fearlessly Authentic! Thanks to everyone who joins in sharing their authentic life moments!
If you’re not already following these fab Instagramers please pop by and give them a look!
Thanks for joining me, love Mac xx