Thursday, 20 August 2015

Be fearlessly, authentically and unapologetically You

If you were anything like me in your teenage and young adult life you spent much of your time comparing yourself to others, wishing you were someone else. Someone always had nicer hair, was prettier, was skinnier, was better at sport, had a better singing voice. I wasn't good enough at anything. And not only that, I very often tried to change myself to be like those I thought were better than me. I'd try to copy their hairstyles, I'd try to lose weight to be skinny like them, I'd wear clothes that didn't feel comfortable, I'd adapt the "cool" words they used, I'd agree with opinions I didn't believe in - all because more than anything I wanted to be someone else. I didn't want to be me. And it was an exhausting and miserable time.

As a health and happiness warrior I probably shouldn't admit that sadly, even now in my mid-twenties after various sessions of Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy, countless yoga classes, and completing yoga teacher training, I still compare myself to others more often than I should. I don't have a high flying job, I don't own a house, I'm fatter than my friends, they're prettier than me, I'm generally not as good as other people...but I try to stop myself there. I try to stop the negativity and comparisons, and although this doesn't always work it does help to take control of my thoughts, to step outside of my own mind, and to mentally check in to what I'm doing to myself. Stay with me on this, it's not all doom-and-gloom - there is hope; I no longer change who I am or what I'm doing to fit in with others or to try and make myself feel better. I have learned that changing who I am is not the way forward. It is counterproductive and ultimately fruitless.

So although I still compare myself to others, and although I often wish I was different to how I am, I have learned to accept that I am Me and no matter how hard I try I will never be someone else. Since accepting this I have slowly learned to see that actually our differences can be our greatest assets. Imagine a world where everyone looked the same, thought the same, acted the same - I shudder at the thought. Our differences make this world interesting and varied. Your differences make this world interesting and varied. My differences make this world interesting and varied. Together we make up this crazy, beautiful, fascinating race we call humanity. You are part of that, I am part of that. And we should all learn to accept, love and be kind to ourselves for being exactly who we are.

There will only ever be one You. No one else in the whole entire world - past or present - will be You.  Only You will walk Your journey. Only You can do exactly what You do. Only You can be You. One of my amazing yoga teachers in India - Steph - was the first one to really get this message through to me. She was teaching us a gentle evening vinyasa flow overlooking the Goan ocean, and the intention for her class taught me more about how important it was that I was Me than any therapy session ever has. I don't know if it was the setting, the fact I'd been forced to turn a mirror to my soul during weeks of yoga teacher training, or simply that Steph has an amazing way with words and the world's biggest heart - but her words entered my wounds like none had managed to before and in child's pose I just burst into tears...

Despite having a lot of hurt in my past surprisingly this was the only time I cried on my teacher training (I had expected to cry loads!), and my reasons for crying at this particular message were simple: 1) I couldn't believe that I'd spent so much of my young life hating myself and putting myself down, and 2) I was utterly relieved that I finally understood that it was okay to be Me, and that I didn't have to waste any more time wishing I was someone different. I have been put in this world, exactly as I am, for a reason - and if I run away from that then not only am I doing myself a disservice, but I'm also not taking up my responsibility to the world. Only I can do what I am meant to do. Only you can do what you're meant to do. You just have to be brave enough to stop comparing, stop wishing you were someone else, and to fully embrace yourself exactly as you are.


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” 

~ Dr Seuss

The world needs you to be You. Not some version of you that is diluted by falsity and polluted by self-hatred. Yes, I am not perfect, you are not perfect, but NO ONE is perfect. And no one ever will be perfect. Why? Because we're human. And that's what makes us beautiful. Our humanity. Our differences. Our uniqueness. 

I'm not going to pretend that since that moment in Steph's yoga class I have completely accepted who I am - I still have my wobbles and moments where I compare myself to others (mainly nowadays it's all about how I look rather than who I am) - but on the whole I am much more accepting of myself, and when I find the negative thoughts creeping in I am much better at putting a stop to them. I remind myself that being horrid to myself brings about more harm than good. It is wasted energy. I'll then think about something positive I've done, or something I like about myself, or just a situation that's bringing me happiness. And following this cognitive pattern helps a lot (something I did learn from all those therapy sessions!). 

Even if you're in a headspace where you just can't be kind to yourself, try to remember that actually it is your ultimate responsibility to be You. If you shy away from that responsibility then you are denying the world of You. You are special. And you were made to be You, and to share your Youness with the world. We all know the phrase "No man is an island" from John Donne's poem. No matter how hard you try, you must and will impact this world in some way on a daily basis. Every action, every word, every moment you are impacting someone or something. So do it as You. Do it as your purest, truest self. This is your responsibility. 

And once you can see this I hope that you can reach a headspace where you can accept yourself, appreciate yourself, and ultimately love yourself exactly as you are. You may not believe me the first time, you may not believe me the second time, you may not believe me the millionth time, but I will make it my mission in life to show as many people as I can - and yes, that's You too - that they (and You) are worthy, are amazing, and are imperfectly perfect. 

So be Fearless. Be Authentic. Be You. 

Love & light. Namaste y'all <3

Lucy x

6 comments:

  1. L:YOU:CY
    love you Luce

    'I guess I had the last laugh' ~ Lucy Jackson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love you too pretty lady! Lots & lots <3

      Haha, well, what can I say? Always coming out with those one liner words of wisdom!

      xxx

      Delete
  2. Love this Lucy. You will inspire so many with your words of wisdom
    Blessings
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lisa. Lots of love to you x

      Delete
  3. Love this - found myself nodding along all the way through reading. x
    LilyLipstick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Lily - really means a lot! Love & light to you x

      Delete