unfolding into JOY

 
 
Inner Beauty Never Fades

Or does it? Sadly, inner beauty can fade away and often does. But, differently from outer beauty, inner beauty can be completely restored.

Recently, i listened to a talk which the speaker began by saying "I want to make one thing clear: i am absolutely, amazingly awesome," and he featured a big grin. Then he continued with a smile "and here is one more thing: you are too." He was talking about being in touch with your inner sense of belonging, with the feeling that you are loved and utterly lovable that lets your inner beauty shine out into the world bright and clear.

sunshepherdess
Detail of the painting Sun Shepherdess by Julie-Dillon. http://www.juliedillonart.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Dillon-Art/137796102948159

Imagine the spark in a toddler's eyes. Remember how their eyes glow? They reflect the shine of adventure, the joy at every discovery, and the sheer insatiable hunger for new experiences that can freely develop when you are young, innocent, and feel loved. I saw this glow in the eyes of my 2 year old niece when i last visited Germany. Frankly, i was surprised at how much she charmed me. She was just turning 2 and her life was a big, fun adventure.

Then i thought back and remembered the charm of her mother, my 12-year-younger baby sister. She glowed too when she was little. But when she was my niece's age, the first big shadows descended upon her. My father's stroke shook up all of our lives. All of a sudden, life did not continue the way we were used to. The biggest factor that indicated that something was off was the fact that our mother was rarely home and when she was, she was tired, bent by worry. Even though my sister was only 2, and all us older siblings doted over her, she, like the rest of us, could not ignore that something upsetting had happened, something that stole our mother's peace. All of a sudden, the solid rock of our family, was shaken with one parent being on the brink of death and the other scared and utterly overwhelmed at the vision of her future as a single mom of five, the youngest 2 and the oldest 14. As it turned out, my father was to live for 5 more years, however not as his former self, but as an ailing, incapacitated man who needed more care than any of us children. This change shows in family photos—mostly the lack thereof—and in the photos of my sister's early childhood. She lost her innocent trust in life very early.

However, you don't have to lose or nearly lose your father as a young child in order to lose your trust in life, and perhaps in yourself. Too many restrictions, or too many obligations, can do the same thing. If you are constantly reminded that you cannot do such and such because you are too small or because it is not safe, or if you are burdened with too many responsibilities too early, you lose some of your innocent shine. And you lose even more when you don't feel loved.

Let's take a moment and look at restrictions and also at moral stories. These can cross our path in the form of a relative or a teacher. There might have been an aunt who always knew how to stop you in your tracks with a blood curdling story or a warning. When i was small we had an old book, from the late 1800s, with admonishing stories for children. I still remember the horror i experienced at the story of Suppenkasper, a boy who did not like his soup—just like me—and refused to eat it. The rhyme said that "on day seven he was dead " and the illustration showed him getting thinner and thinner every day, and on day seven you only saw a grave with a cross. I hope most of you were spared those kind of stories. But there might have been a pseudo well-meaning doomsayer in your environment who always had to point out that you couldn't possibly expect to be loved if you continued to do such and such. They would probably end on a notion such as "You better be a good child." Most of us can't ignore their need to be loved and liked—as a child or as an adult. So, we begin to compromise our truth for the sake of pleasing someone.

After years (and decades) of pleasing others, you might not even be able to clearly hear your own inner voice anymore. It has been dimmed—and with it your inner glow has dimmed. BUT, it is never to late to liberate yourself from old internalized pressures and stories, and begin to reconnect with your own truth. In the beginning, it might be hard to hear the small voice inside you. Everybody else's voice has had their free run for such a long time and shouted over your own inner voice.

Perhaps even harder than to retrain yourself to hear your inner voice is it to choose it when it means going against the wish (or the domineering bullying) of someone else. But, it can be done.

Here are some ideas for you if you feel ready to start tackling your transformation.

  • Start imagining yourself already at your goal: in your center, feeling amazing.
  • Try to see yourself do all the things that you are passionate about. Allow yourself this vision and allow yourself to enjoy it.
  • In your thought experiment, give yourself full permission to please yourself. Step into your truth. See yourself do things your way.
  • See yourself literally or metaphorically skip joyfully through your day.
  • See your new glow radiate out.
  • Love yourself with all your might.
  • Bring this vision into your day-to-day life. Try to implement one thing at a time.
  • Become your own advocate.
  • When you look into the mirror, smile at yourself.

If this feels really difficult, be kind with yourself and patient. Remember that you are going against a life-time of habit. If you experience difficulties with any of the above, don't be discouraged. Instead, consider getting help. Depending on where you're at, choose a therapist, or choose a transformational coach. I love this kind of deep work. With my help you will not only find out what is truly meaningful to you. You will also learn to take incremental steps that lead you to live your life in sync with your inner truth. This will tease out your inner beauty, and along-side, you will discover a life of joy. Click here to read more about my transformational approach and here to send me an email. Let's reawaken your inner beauty, shall we?




 

 


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