Being With Myself

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“I will tell you a secret: I actually did not look at myself in a mirror for almost five years.”

By Desiree Adaway | Twitter: @desireeadaway

 I am a raging extrovert.

I can talk in front of large crowds with relative ease. I get energy from meeting new faces and making connections. I am a natural in most social settings. I am always willing to stretch the circle wider and include everyone at the table.

I want to draw people in closer and help them feel loved and acknowledged. I want to be with them in all the ways that really matter. I love to invite new voices to speak, especially those not usually heard. No judgment–just an open heart and mind.

So, why is it so hard sometimes to be with myself?

Why is it so hard to love myself and not judge myself?

Why is it easy to be with others, but so difficult to be with me?

The Truth

It is because I know the truth.

I am not always nice nor is my spirit always peaceful. I am flawed and sometimes I make the same mistakes over and over again. I use bad language and I disappoint the people I love.

I am not always a good mother, sister or friend.

I have wounds that for some reason have not healed fully. After 20-plus years they are still raw and sensitive.

Some days it’s hard to look in the mirror as I brush my teeth or prepare for my day. 

I will tell you a secret: I actually DID NOT look at myself in a mirror for almost five years.

I could not do it; it hurt too much.

Then I realized something important: I am still loved in spite of all my flaws and my dysfunction.

Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

I am not my pain, my shame, my hurts, my wounds or my insecurities–because of grace.

I know what it is like to not feel important and, because of that, I want to make sure everyone in my circle never feels small or unworthy. I welcome others because I know what lonely feels like deep in my soul. Every time I celebrate others I learn it’s okay to celebrate myself.

When I am with myself I am:

– my most naked

– my most open

– my most vulnerable

– my most beautiful self.

When I am with myself I cannot hide my scars and that is okay.

I wear my scars now. They no longer wear me.

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So, dear SheLoves readers, please share your thoughts:

  • Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you believe that impacts the way you view yourself?
  • Do you find it hard to really look at yourself in the mirror? Why or why not?
  • Are you able to comfortably be with yourself?

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About Desiree:

Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller and explorer.  She uses her superpowers–her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community–to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates.

You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway

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Desiree Adaway
Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller and explorer. She uses her superpowers–her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community–to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates. You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway
Desiree Adaway
Desiree Adaway

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Comments

  1. Olive Chan olivechan says:

    Thank you for this post, Desiree. I am an introvert but I’ve realized that just because I’m comfortable being by myself, it doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with who I am. It’s taken me many years – and continues to be a journey – to dare to believe that my flaws are loved as much as my strengths.

  2. lilyscloset says:

    Great post! It is one that is moving me to cry, but I won’t let myself.

    I spent 24 years in the beauty and fashion industry as an image consultant and personal shopper. I watched women struggle with their image, self-worth and desperate need for recognition and purpose. This led me to develop a ministry that would help them know that they are more than their material possessions, status and family titles.

    What I had not expected in all of this, is that over the last year God has brought me to the same place. He is making me face my true self in the mirror and it frightens and breaks me. I cannot see the beautiful, powerful woman everyone else sees, but I want to feel her in my soul. God knows and He has given me glimpses of her. She is so beautiful!

    Because of Him we are more powerful than we know, but that power is so strong and authentic. Its strength exposes our weaknesses (real and perceived) and yet revealing them is what makes us powerful.

    I can see the woman I want to be, but I know that in order for me to feel her and live as her, God needs to remove all that I am hiding behind. Even though I tell myself I am okay, I am not and God, by His grace, is healing me of deep wounds, past “failures” and the lies I have chosen to believe.

    Thank you for this post. I pray other women will be encouraged.

    Monica

  3. It’s funny, I’ve been an extrovert for most of my life. In fact, I considered that to be superior to introversion. It was better to be all about others than to be aware of myself. That led me through the bowels of an eating disorder – during which I absolutely hated myself.

    As I have learned recovery and Jesus has introduced me to the person HE made me to be, I’ve found great joy in quiet and solitude. I have found my greatest creativity when I’m reading or writing – solitary activities. And I’ve discovered a deeper love for others from this quiet, self-exploratory place. And I like the person Jesus has brought me out to be!

    http://www.predatory-lies.com

  4. I’m an introvert who loves people, Desiree, I’m like you in that I reach out to others wanting them to know the joy of feeling heard and seen, accepted and loved, appreciated and respected, because I know the pain of feeling the opposite.

    I don’t think being an introvert makes it hard to be comfortable with my Self. In my case I believe that comes from the message I heard all my life that “there’s something wrong with you because you’re not like us.”

    Thankfully I never gave up trying to find what was true and good for me, but I believe that that almost universal reaction to my lack of desire to conform to “the social norm” is what led me to be always finding fault with myself.

    After all these years, with the unconditional love and acceptance of one amazing man, I am finally learning to like and accept and enjoy myself exactly as I am — and as I am becoming.

    It is so important for us to create safe places for one another to blossom! I have always tried to hold that space for others, and now more and more I find it is being held for me in turn 🙂

    • Megan, I heard the same messages over and over,,, I was different, not like everyone else and it took me a long time to be ok with that, I had to learn to create a safe place for myself and it was teh hardest lesson I have ever learned.

  5. Lorraine says:

    Today, 12/3/12, is an interesting day for this subject because as the three planets align (Saturn worked hard to get us at this point and Mercury will make swift the transition), Venus is about Love and what the other two planets are helping to manifest in our human condition. So, it’s interesting you address the subject of being with yourself on this day., because it is about self love and the hardest thing to do for many..including me. You are standing in the right place with yourself.

  6. Desiree,

    Anne Lamott’s quote about grace is so fitting here:

    “I do not understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

    I am still grasping for grace when I look in the mirror, as I want to hide behind the facade of what I believe I present to the world. Grace is what enables me to look my realness in the face and love rather than rebuke. I’m learning that Grace is the only mask that is acceptable.

    Slowly. I am learning.
    Thank you for sharing your story here, with us.

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