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the dance of the shadow puppets

Since my little people came to join me it has really accelerated my journey of self-awareness and growth on all levels. This journey has really ramped up over the last week with the Universe giving me some very loud but beautiful messages in ways that I never expected. One of which was that I needed to step up and really show the world all of me, not the airbrushed, socially acceptable version I am comfortable showing, but the real, crazy, messy, inappropriate, vulnerable me. So here goes…

When I was born, I came into the world 8 weeks “early”. I say this because I wasn’t actually early, I came just as and when I was supposed to but in medical terms, I was premature. This in many ways was a traumatic experience for me and I have no doubt even more so for my young mother with me needing urgent medical attention for the first days and weeks of my life. I now realise that this planted a seed for a huge part of my personality and has dictated the direction of my life for the most part until now.

Doctors told my mother that I may not make it and that she should prepare herself for the worst. When I did get stronger, they later told her that I would never walk or talk and my quality of life would be “less”. Even as a small child I must have had some awareness of this and here began my “I’ll show you”, stubborn, defiant, determined life. This in itself has served me well to a point. I did talk, in fact at the age of just 2, when someone asked me what books I liked to read, apparently, I said triumphantly that I liked to read “Cosmopolitan magazine”. I did walk, albeit it took me to the age of 7 to take my first steps unaided and they were precarious at best.
I went to mainstream school where I worked hard to ace all subjects and when doctors suggested that it probably wasn’t the best idea physically for me to go to the Grammar school full of steps and no lift? You guessed it! I said “I’ll show you” and off I went to that very school for 7 years. I went to university, travelled to Australia, passed my driving test, got a job, bought a house and walked down the aisle on my wedding day, just as I had for the first time at age 7 for my Communion. When I went to my GP and asked him to sign the form declaring medically fit to do a skydive and he looked at me like I was nuts, I explained without missing a beat that he could sign it or I was forging his signature but either way I was jumping out of a plane; and I did, twice.
But here’s the thing. With this grit and determination, lurking in the shadows is a much more sinister puppet; that of ego, fear, depression and failure. Why? I was driven by what I thought people expected of me, or rather didn’t expect and I was angry and determined to do the opposite. I was looking at my life through the eyes of other people rather than coming from my heart and a place of truth. I was emotionally at war with myself. So inevitably, when I didn’t get straight A’s every single time, or when my crush didn’t call me back etc I turned the anger and resentment inwards on myself (and sometimes projected it on others too). This led to a large chunk of my teenage years in particular when I was angry, depressed and downright obnoxious in lots of ways.

My journey of clarity began when I was pregnant with Starfish. As I’m sure most new parents do, I began thinking about the type of parent I wanted to be which led me right back to me own childhood. I realised that I could barely look at myself in the mirror and I also couldn’t stand to look at photos of myself as a baby. This was because of the anger it uncovered that I wasn’t ready to deal with.

When I did decide to tackle it head on, I had a huge light bulb moment. I realised that when I felt like I was “fighting the good fight” for acceptance and equality for myself and others with a disability, the actual truth was, where I really needed the love and acceptance was from myself! I had fought against myself and my truth for over 30 years!

From here I could begin to heal, forgive and LOVE myself. Not in an egotistical pretentious way but in a gentle, accepting, unconditional way. Having children really illustrated this for me perfectly. I look into my children’s eyes and my hear soars with pure, unconditional, unassuming, all-consuming love. They are pure, beautiful, vulnerable, vibrant souls who need and absolutely deserve my love at all times and the very best that the world has to offer. And you know what? SO DO I! I too was that pure, vulnerable, scared child needing love and she is still very much part of me.
The universe surrounds us with what we project and want for ourselves. I can say this with certainty because the moment I became my own best friend, absolutely EVERYTHING in my life improved. My relationships, my health, the opportunities I was given, EVERYTHING! My smile was brighter, my eyes sparkled with life and fun (I know because I could actually look at myself for the first time without feeling repulsed) My laugh was a proper, head back mouth open belly laugh, I danced, I played, I dreamed. I was completely present in my life, I showed up, rather than wishing I was someone else, somewhere else or “if only.”

I’ve stopped caring what others think of me and ironically, in doing so people who I previously thought were way out of my league in every sense, are now connecting with me every day and becoming part of my amazing circle of dear friends.

Why am I telling you all this? This is me, this is my truth and I know that right now if you’re reading this it’s because you need to hear it.

Until next time, love and light