The Journey Back To My Authentic Self

Fifty-eight years ago, today, I came rushing into this world, almost being born on the way to the hospital. Looking back, it seems as if I have been rushing from one thing that interests me to another. In all of that rushing around, somehow, I forgot who I really was. That woman, that kind, funny, gentle, animal loving, generous woman got buried under an avalanche of cultural expectations, media hype about what I had to have to be loved, a massive boulder of self-doubt, and other detritus of life. About twelve years ago, I got tired of always feeling angry, lonely, frustrated, and lost. I was hating my job, feeling terrible in my body, and stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship. I knew things had to change. It’s been a long journey into being happy with who I am and living an authentic life.


The change started with taking a good hard look at the way I thought about myself, how I believed that I wasn’t worthy, and then changing those thoughts. It didn’t happen in a day, but I kept a vigilant eye out for how I spoke to myself. I had gotten into the habit of saying horrible things to myself. Things that I would never say to another human being, that was the first thing to change. Whenever I caught myself talking like that to myself, I would apologize and then give myself three compliments. I still do on occasion say mean things, but I always catch and stop myself. This, in and of itself, has had a significant impact on my finding my way back to who I am.


There has been a lot of other work that I have done over the years, and I will save that for another day, what I really want to talk about is where I am at now. About three or four years ago, I got back into creating art. Getting back into creating art was born out of a compelling need to create. One I could no longer deny. I am the daughter of two artists, was brought up around art, as a child I loved to create and was mesmerized by color. I stopped creating after I graduated from high school because, with all of my negative self-talk, I had convinced myself that I had no talent. I am learning that with patience and curiosity, I can create wondrous things. Yes, there is a lot of crap that is generated along the way, but each creation that didn’t work out how I wanted isn’t viewed as a failure, but as a lesson learned. Creating has played a massive part in finding my way back to my authentic self. When I start to create, I step into a world that is my own, and that my friend is a welcome retreat from everyday life.


In the last several months, I have started to feel that compelling need again, and as before it is taking me back to a love from my childhood. When I was a kid, I loved horses. If I wasn’t on a horse or taking care of a horse, I was pretending I was a horse. I cantered everywhere! I haven’t ridden in 40 years, and while I still love horses, and spend time with them whenever I can, I don’t ride. In thinking about getting back to my true self, I realized that the passions of my youth are what truly makes me happy. I finally made the decision to take lessons, and I visited a friend at her farm, and my heart started to sing. While at the farm, I met a gorgeous, big blonde Belgian Draft horse that I immediately fell in love with. I spent half an hour just patting and hugging him and loving him up. The more that I listen to that inner voice that guides me to what I need to do, the closer I get to my authentic self.





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Designed 2019 by Karen Lindstrom Painting by Natalia Bystrianyk

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