I have come to the realization that for so long I have moved around in life in life untrue.
Moving forward in the psychical realm carrying on a mask. This mask has been an embodiment of who I think I should be. It has included everything from how I think, how I should act, and carry myself. The means to achieve a sense of belonging by conforming in order to please others has been done for far too long.
I have been walking around split, revealing different sides of myself in different arenas around different people. It has only been in writing where I have been able to write my truth regarding my multidimensional self with all my parts.
I have come to the conclusion that the time has come now for change moving forward. I have been undergoing this shift from carrying on with a focus on others to a focus on myself. So often I have been told -be yourself and not be like anyone else- in the same vein there has been been a dominant ongoing socialization involving discourse on the proper way to live and be in this world.
I was taught to be prim and proper. Maintaining an existence of a good docile girl who was always quiet and does what she is told has been my mantra for much of my existence here on this earth but that has never been me. There were moments I when I was have to take that “good girl” hat off and just really be myself. This has mostly been at home alone, creating or when surrounded by people I really know. It has always been so much easier to take the armour off when I am with people I feel safe with if i’m not alone. I have come to the point where carrying on this split existence with my two selves just doesn’t sit well with me anymore. The shell that was once built for protection as a part of my survivor mindset is no longer necessary anymore.
I was under the impression that I was really good at masquerading as someone else who I assumed would placate others and not ruffle feathers despite actually always having been quite expressive and opinionated. I remember moments during childhood and in latter years of adulthood friends and family would point how much I differed based on who I was around. They were able to connect more and see the real me and not the facade I was so used to putting up out of fear. I realize now many years later, they just like everyone else could realize when I was or wasn’t embodying my own energy and being authentic. Sadly I couldn’t get to a place of knowing this distinction until many many years later.
Over time I have learned the distinction between walking in my truth versus taking on a foreign energy or foreign entity due to practicing mindfulness. Keeping a meditative practice and practicing consistent breathwork has been crucial in my development. Being still and listening inward to my emotions has allowed me to tap in and gain greater clarity. For far too long I had been led to believe the lie that emotions were false and never should be taken seriously.
There was always a heavy focus on spirit and being linked to something greater than myself which on an underlying level setup this believe that my experience in my flesh was of know importance. As a result of this, I had become a foreigner to my own body. I had could no longer recognize or even realize who I am.
Having taking on a different embodiment of myself I had become split for so many years. My mind the body, had become like that of two contrasting parts of the same car. Instead of moving forward they had been moving in opposition to one another. As a result this has manifested in so many contrasting ways for me in terms of the body. I had become afraid to speak and thus express my opinion. Being overtaken my fear I was worried as to how my voice would be expressed. Thus resulted in a major blocked throat chakra. The symptoms of this were consistent sore throats, bad teeth, never liking my voice. My refusal and fear to speak was rooted in a fear that my unique perspective would cause me to be cast astray.
The focus on the outside had created a film between the external and my own interior realm. A bridge had been drawn between by true authentic self as a Black woman who is both queer and artsy among other things and the good girl I was raised to believe was expected of me. This bridge having grown over time has served to keep people happy. While I succeeded doing this it hurt real bad within. As long as I could remember I was always feeling uncomfortable or unsettled whether it was with my skin, my height, my shape, my mind, my emotions, my interests.
It was made very apparent through my strict conservative upbringing that anyone who isn’t straight is a sinner who had to repent and conform. For so long I tried carrying on and just not saying a word but it’s so draining and suffocating one’s true self. I know it’s in my best interest to move forward and be free now. Luckily thanks to people I have been able to meet along the way in addition to watching all this beautiful queer representation in media ( Moonlight, Black Mirror: San Junipero, Pariah ,New York Girls TV etc.) I have been able to view and connect with other characters like me- Black women loving and being with other women, proud and unashamed- this encourages me that I can do so too. Despite the rampant discrimination that can arise I trust and know that there is power and freedom that lies in walking in my truth and owning it.
Everything I perceived to be wrong I had suppressed being that it didn’t fall in line with the boxes. I have always been one who can be perceived as very unconventional. The desire to think out loud and be and live freely had always lived within but the desire to fit in and be loved took over. Not wanting to stir up the pot got me doing and taking on so much more than I had intended or even wanted for myself.
Being that I always knew I was different in terms of thought and action I would always move differently depending on my surroundings. Consistently doing what I had once perceived to be a strength like a chameleon constantly shifting and contorting based on the surroundings was actually hurting more than helping in terms of my advancement. Coming to terms with my queer identity, interests in art, and developing a spiritual practice far different than the Conservative one I was exposed to has made me feel the odd woman out for years.
I hadn’t become fully aware of my differences until they became more apparent after my experiencing trauma. I have come to terms with the fact that my body just won’t let me hide who I really am anymore. Trying to do so has literally made me sick metaphysically with everything from anxiety, uneasiness to chronic pain, and depression. These are still things I am working through but it has gotten easier over time.
Having always been forced to color inside the lines I have felt isolated from my youth. Living so long as a loner when I was younger had caused me to build up this shadow self that has permeated my being over the years up to now in adulthood. This shadow, who I will refer to as she, has been cold and inconsistent, when in reality I have always been pretty loving, nurturing and sensitive.
For so long I have hid my true nature out of fear of being perceived as weak or less than. The expectation to be a strong Black woman-one who always has it together- has placed so much pressure on me to be something I’m not. No more do I desire or care to suppress myself in order to fit in with some impossible status quo that has been placed upon me. I am still working on towards celebrating my duality and no longer carrying myself split especially between my spirituality and my sexuality.
Moving forward my intent is to write more from an authentic place in which I discuss my self love journey as I have been utilizing writing and mindfulness. Both writing and mindfulness, have enabled me rediscover my natural energy that I embody as I come unto myself and regain my happiness and centeredness rooted in self.