Being Vulnerable – A Client’s Compelling Story
“If only you’d lose weight and straighten your hair you’ll be a princess; you are so beautiful beneath it all.” She used to say to me.
I spent my life striving to be that “princess”, wanting to be loved and accepted by my Mother and then by my lovers.
Always feeling that I’m not good enough, never knowing that true beauty comes from within, from who we are, not what we look like!
When I turned 43 I realised that being slim, having straight hair and being pretty was not important. The most important part was being a good person! I wished my Mother had taught me the importance of how to be a good person.
When talking on the phone to a friend one evening in June 2011, telling her my story of commitment to my self-development path from the age of 17, I suddenly remembered what had been the trigger, the starting point for me.
I remembered making two decisions early on in my life: (1) I didn’t want to grow up to be like my Mother, not an easy thing since we automatically and unconsciously adopt and absorb our parents ways, habits, behaviours, attitudes and judgements! And (2) I would never have children until I knew I was different to how my Mother had been with me, because I did not want to pass on my anger, aggression, critical and judgemental ways and cause another small person to be unhappy in this world.
And there began my journey to be good enough in the eyes of my Mother, ergo in the eyes of the world!
And what did I “pick up” along the way? Lots of variations of my Mother in my friends, boyfriends and bosses. So much criticism, judgement, harshness, anger, depression and aggression until the day I was literally “beaten” into making a decision to do something major about my life.
After a night of physical torture by an ex-boyfriend, I realised I had to make some serious changes and I started with a major physical shift: training, self-defence, intense counselling with domestic violence experts, and life coaching.
If I could reach a point where a man could kick me to the ground and beat me up and bash my head for two hours solid, then my self-esteem must be at rock bottom, and finally, I realised that it was time for change.
I had no other choice in my eyes but to get on with it, do something about it and make the most profound change in my life so that I would NEVER EVER go back to that awful place EVER AGAIN!
From that night, on 11th August 2009, it took me less than 18 months, focused and determined, seeking every possible avenue and angle available to me, to make the most profound change I had ever experienced in all the 25 years of searching and self-development work I had done.
The life coaching was the biggest change work for me, it had the biggest impact on my life; it gave me exactly what I needed: I was challenged yet supported, encouraged and motivated to take responsibility and take action for the changes I wanted in my life. No-one was going to do it for me, and with the life coaching I had the resources I needed to move from that difficult place of struggle to a new place of opportunities and choices.
I changed. I slipped off the external / outer layers of protection I had carried like an armour all my life and I learnt to like myself, to accept myself, to be myself and eventually to love myself for who I am. I discovered who I am and what I love to do, what I enjoy the most, how I like to spend and invest my time.
I stopped “pleasing” others, living for others, living by their rules, their judgements, their beliefs and opinions.
I began to connect with me, with myself and I discovered that beneath the layers of fear, worry, anxiety and fat, there is a beautiful, loving, happy, kind woman, and that there always had been, she had always been there but no-one had ever taken the time to let her out, to get to know her, to be there for her, so she learnt to hide away, to protect herself, to defend herself and to fight back –
“The aggressive, rebellious, arrogant child!!”
Whatever I am, you are too. We are all equal, and we are all beautiful underneath whatever protective exterior we feel we need to display to the world, to give us the strength and ability to cope, to deal with what life brings our way.
It is never too late to change; it is always the right time to do the something about it; it doesn’t matter what path you choose or how long it takes.
I wanted to be sure that by the time I die I can say that I had a fabulous life, happy and fulfilled, full of smiles and love and it took me many many years to get to that place.
I always believed I could and that one day I would, I just didn’t know how. And then it happened, my life path changed and with it I got the changes I wanted, that I’d been waiting for all my life.
From that point in my life everything else started to fall into place… my body took on it’s natural beautiful shape, my energy and physical abilities soared and sport became one of my top five loves in my life; my work, another great love, which has been my lifetime hobby, took off with great speed in directions I had never imagined; and, the love of my life, my true soul-mate and lifetime companion, connected with me.
The world is my oyster!
I have always believed that when we are truly true to ourselves and in touch with our truth, our inner true being, we are in a pure absolute place within and from that place we can do and achieve anything.
You know the phrase “a self-fulfilling prophecy”? So just as I had believed all my life, and I used my belief to fuel my constant search for change, so it became my self-fulling prophecy, it came true.
Whatever has worked for me, can also work for you. The world is your oyster too; it’s there for the taking. Learn to be true to yourself, to who you truly are, and you will discover an inner peace and fulfilment that no-one else can ever give you, that no money can ever buy.
I hear you, I understand you, I have been there too.