Updated: Jan 15, 2022
I grew up feeling like I was always in the wrong. I felt, inherently, that there was something amiss with me, like I just didn't measure up. I was so “different” from my siblings and the rest of my family. I seemed to be wired in a completely dissimilar way. My parents later would tell stories of me as a child and proclaim that “Things that worked with your siblings didn't work with you…” The connotation was that I was difficult.
Ever since I can remember, I have deeply admired my siblings. I still do💓. I wanted to be just like them. Now, thankfully, I am happy being me but I grew up and lived years into my adulthood with the unsaid but very much implied sentiment over my head and in my heart that my siblings were “better” than me. In every way. It took decades to understand how I internalized this narrative and see the negative impact that had on my self-image and esteem.
I felt like a misfit in a family of, what I considered to be, successful, wildly intelligent, educated, and put together people. And because I wasn't like them, this meant I was none of these things. Of course, I was… in my own way… but I held my family up on a magnificent pedestal that I was desperate to get to but just couldn't find the stairway. (You see, I am an individual and even more, I came here to shake things up for the people around me, it’s a big part of how I am designed. 💪🏽) However, I didn't learn this about myself until my thirties. So, whether it was suffering through suicidal ideation by the 6th grade and being diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a very young age or getting pregnant at the age of 19 by someone who was five years older than me, the people around me were provoked and shocked by my actions and honestly at a loss.
I didn't try to make things difficult for my family 🤷🏽♀️… it just happened because, by no fault of anyone’s, WHO I WAS was wildly unsupported. I was being raised as if I were someone else. I was not seen and advocated for as the unique being I was in the way I needed. Now, one of my core beliefs is that we are all doing the best we can at any given time. My parents did the best they could! I was different from my siblings (we are all wildly unique) but I internalized it all for a very long time as my fault.
From childhood, my mental illness made me a burden and my moodiness made me “bad”. My inability, despite being very intelligent, to do my school work or turn in my assignments on time made me “frustrating and hard-headed”. My constant tiredness and lack of energy made me “worrisome and concerning”. Looking back now, I have so much love for my child-self because I was the proverbial round peg being shoved into a square hole… it wasn't working and it was never going to work. 😥
Fast forward to young adulthood. I was still trying desperately to fit in. I wanted to have a corporate career but once I achieved what I thought was my entry-level dream job, it didn't feel right. (More of the round peg-square hole syndrome.) Every day I pushed forward telling myself that anything I felt or thought not in alignment with what my family was doing was misguided… even if it felt completely wrong for me. I saw my siblings excelling at their careers and living fabulous lives and I thought that if I could just get it together for long enough and emulate them closely, I could have it too.
Not so shockingly, this didn't work. Eventually, my mind and body broke down. One day I couldn't get out of bed to go to work. I felt completely paralyzed from the waist down. Every time I tried to swing my legs over the side of the bed to get up, my chest would seize up, I would get dizzy, and collapse back down in tears. Finally, I called in sick and never went back in. That was the most important decision of my life.
It’s been over a decade of deconditioning, getting to know who I am, and learning that person is inherently perfect, not wrong, flawed, or bad. 💓 I've studied spiritual principles and practices and moved towards a life more in alignment with who I was created to be. I learned about myself and honored what I found and because of that, I love and respect myself. I’ve created a life where I get to live as Amy... not Amy trying to be someone else. It’s liberating and I grow more and more towards actualizing Radical Self-Compassion every day because it is my intention. ✨
Compassion is a word that we use to describe how we treat and interact with others. Rarely do we turn it around and project it inwards. Compassion like love, cannot be given to its fullest expression unless we have it for ourselves. This was the biggest concept for me to understand to move from my painful relationship with my past self to a life of Radical Self-Compassion and Love. 💕
When I remove the self-judgment and self-degradation from my experience I find that, naturally, my need to judge and degrade others falls away as well. It is magical. 🪄I can see the people in my life at heart level because my heart is open to myself. Now, whenever I find myself judging or villainizing others, it’s always because I need to extend more compassion to myself. When we allow ourselves to JUST BE without making ourselves wrong we find it so much easier to allow others the same courtesy without even having to try.
When we know and LOVE who we are at Energetic and Soul level, we can begin to heal the wounds of the past that make us ashamed of ourselves and angry at our choices. 🩹This work leads to believing in our own goodness and looking for it every day which in turn, makes it show up even more often. Sometimes, we don't live up to our best, period. Nevertheless, when we give ourselves a pass and separate who we are from what we have done we reinforce the fact that we are inherently good. That makes us strive towards that goodness moving forward.
I believe that our ability to create the life we want in this INTENSE time will come down to our deep understanding and honoring of who we are and the amount of trust and faith we have in ourselves at every level. Developing Radical Self-Compassion is a key place to start. 🗝️