For many children, there comes a moment when they "learn" that it is not safe for them to be themselves.
For some it happens at home, when a parent belittles them, constantly criticizing.
For others, like myself, it happens at school and extra-curricular activities.
This pain looks different for each, but the outcome is pretty universal.
The outcome is being further away from remembering who we are. The outcome is layers of facades, proudly placed layer by layer in the name of safety.
As I child, I lost myself in books and movies. I'd spend months pretending to be one of the characters in my mind rather than be living in own life. I remember hours of bouncing on the trampoline in the backyard pretending to be a character. I'd be Lizzie McGuire or Anna Percy, sometimes Pocahontas or Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I'd spend weeks of my life pretending to be any character ever played by Mary Kate and/or Ashley Olsen. Seriously- I adopted the personality of the characters from Our Lips are Sealed so much that I gained the reputation of a blabbermouth in the fifth grade- even though I never actually spilled secrets.
Over the past few years, my spiritual practice and personal development has led me to feeling more and more like myself.
I was being open about my intuitive gifts. I was meditating daily, using automatic writing to connect to my higher self, and having intensely vivid dreams that included archangels teaching me how to heal energy. I was vibing SO high. It felt like- YES! This is who I am. I love myself. I love my life.
Until someone who I cared so much about told me that I was a fraud.
I was accused of being inauthentic. Of trying to use someone else's power rather than my own.
This crushed me. This confused me. As I had mentioned before, I was feeling more connected to myself than ever before. I felt my most authentic and yet here I was being told that I wasn't.
My ego grasped onto this event and wanted me to take her projection as truth.
I immediately stopped following ANYTHING that they were doing. I didn't want to be influenced by anything that they were posting.
Sure enough, the old pattern started to creep back in.
My soul was hurting so deeply after the accusation that I did not want to risk putting myself out there. I started to binge watch TV again and fascinate about the character's life over my own. I started reading books and thinking of how I needed to change myself to prevent something like this from happening again.
I was operating out of fear.
I needed a new lens of self discovery and understanding. Enter astrology. I am a Pisces Sun, Capricorn Moon, Pisces Rising.
As I started reading about the traits and qualities of a Pisces Rising, one that stood out to me was an adoptable & adaptable personality, a personality that molds to the people that they are around.
As soon as I read it, I felt the overwhelming message:
Hi, Chelsie. Meet this part of your shadow that you've been avoiding. It's time.
So I did it. I spent some major time with this part of my shadow and am continuing to do so. I've discovered how much safety, boredom, and agreeableness come into play with this trait. When I feel unsafe, I hide behind the traits and qualities of others so that I don't get hurt or if something does go wrong, it doesn't feel as personal. The shadow finds being adaptable to be a lot of fun. Ever-evolving and changing makes things interesting. The shadow gets a total thrill off the idea that we can be whoever we desire to be. Agreeableness is a whole different level. When I am overly agreeable, I lose my sense of self. Seeing as how the shadow loves to adapt, this can lead me to agreeing to things that I actually don't. This is completely connected to the safety component- if I agree, chances for conflict are low and my desire to stay safe has been high.
Now that I understand this part of myself, I can grow. I can heal. I can shed the layers.
I can operate out of love instead.
It is so clear now how the layers were actually harmful. I don't judge myself, ego, or shadow for creating them. At one point in my life, they probably served me. I didn't have the tools that I have now to do this shadow work and truly get to know myself.
It was this experience and this work that inspired a lot of what happens in the Chakra Goddess program. The growth and healing that happens when you truly get to know yourself is insurmountable.