Hi my friends. Do you know that a significant amount of your time is spent with you sleeping? I’m not talking about the hours at night where you find yourself in your bed. I’m talking about the hours where you are fully ‘awake’ and going about your day. Eyes open. Still sleeping!
You know what I’m talking about. The mundane, routine type of day that you have all week, all month, all year. If this sounds like you – Don’t worry, you’re NORMAL. Normal however doesn’t mean you’re fulfilled. Far from it.
My desire for NORMAL starts from a very young age…
I was a rebellious child. Not in the sense of doing crazy unheard of things, but in the sense that I absolutely HATED being told ‘you have to do …’. Deep inside me, there was something resisting this word that was putting an external force on me from someone else telling me what I had to do. It was usually my mother. But later it could have been a teacher, a friend, a colleague, a sister, etc. I don’t know why, but I just could not and still cringe when I hear that word. At some point in my life I decided not to relate to that word (I haven’t discovered when and why yet) and it’s intriguing how one word can have such an effect on me.
Anyway… carrying on…
In school, I remember I always felt I wasn’t like the other kids. Maybe it was because of my Greek background. Maybe it was because of the low confidence I felt in my appearance. (I had ‘dumbo’ ears and was often teased). Yep, I was teased and for a while I pretended like it didn’t bother me. Maybe that’s why I developed my cheeky character… as a defense mechanism for protection from the teasers. My parents, bless their hearts, had no idea how much this was bothering me. I covered it up well and so did my hair. I always kept my hair below my shoulders and if I had to tie it up I would gather it in a low pony tail making sure it was over my ears. In kindergarten and primary school my hair was in a short bob style – ideal for hiding my big, fly-away ears.
Summer time was the worst for me. It meant swimming during physical education classes at school and then the Gala’s (competitions) which took place in the school and then between the local schools in our area. I was more worried about camouflaging my ears than I was about swimming laps! As you can imagine, I never made the team – to my delight – but always loved the excitement and cajoling with peers on the grandstands and singing anthems cheering my teammates along.
I was never competitive. I was scared it would mean having to show all of me – including my ears! I made myself believe that winning wasn’t important. Quite wise wasn’t I? Having relationships was important for me. Feeling connected was important for me. In high school, although some of my friends were part of the IN crowd, I avoided doing things that would achieve merit, favor and attention. That was the last thing I wanted! Attention! I was ok being my cheeky, funny and silly self to make my friends laugh but that was as far as it went. I was a good student. One of the Top 10 achievers in my final year (where I got a badge/pin to wear proudly on my blazer) and House Captain for the sports team. Some of my fondest memories were made during high school.
At 16 I got into my first relationship. This was un-chartered territory for me and I was smitten with him! And at 17 I had my final year at school and of course the end of school dance! Prom! Matric Dance as it is known in South Africa. This was about the time when I asked my dad if there was any way, money-wise, that we could consider the Otoplasty (ear pinning plastic surgery) procedure. It was something that was bothering me constantly. We found a way and I went ahead with the procedure. (I was 16 or 17 at the time). If I say it was one of the best decisions I made in my life it would be an understatement! I felt like I could conquer the world! As soon as I could, I chopped most of my hair off and sported a pixie style. I loved it! When that grew out, pulling my hair up into a high ponytail was a dream come true! And around the same time, I started kickboxing where I met some pretty amazing people who saw me and loved me for who I truly was.
Life carried on. I made new friends as I went off to college and then started working. To be brutally honest though, I still wasn’t my true self. I felt like I needed to be like my friends. I felt I needed to be stunning. Beautiful. Skinny. Dress a certain way. Speak a certain way. And I tried doing whatever I could to be like my friends. But it didn’t feel right. It was very forced. Every decision I was making was being filtered through ‘what would so and so do ‘ etc. I was being a fake to ME. I was being inauthentic. I was not living through my heart and I could ‘feel’ it wasn’t right. Something felt OFF.
Fast forward to today…. I am 39 years young. I love my self. I love my life. Mistakes and all.
How did I get here? God watched over me that’s for sure.
I had many many opportunities to lose myself.
To follow the wrong path.
To chase the wrong kind of ‘happiness’.
But I didn’t.
How? I prayed. And I listened to my heart. I followed the soft prompting of the guiding light inside of me. We all have it. If you close your eyes and put your attention on your heart and just think of something you are grateful for you will feel something flicker inside of you. That is your light! You are connecting to SOURCE and that is your lifeline. When you are connected to that light it will guide you! You will still make mistakes and it will guide you through them.
I started realizing I was born to bless this world. I was born in the image of love. I became grateful for all my adventures. All my flaws. All my mistakes. All my tears. All my pains. And they all became lessons. And I grew. And I continue to grow.
As I reflect back on everyone that has come into my life, those that have stayed and those that have left, I understand NOW that I attracted each and every person into my life for my own personal evolution. My internal dysfunction attracted the same externally and through that experience I was able to process what I needed to learn. For years I thought that pinning my ears back would change my life. Now I know, my dumbo ears were actually one of the gifts in my life. I needed to go through that experience to evolve to the next step. It was preparing me. And maybe it still is.
Besides the lesson of empathy and compassion that being teased has definitely taught me, maybe it has also taught me the value of not caring what other people think about me (especially now that I am exploring with my business, putting myself out there, being authentic to you).
Maybe opting out of being competitive (even if it was subconsciously out of fear) as a child taught me to value the journey of life and not the destination.
Maybe trying to be like someone else was a process that taught me to accept others as they are. To accept my children, my spouse, my parents, my siblings and my friends as they are? What about bosses, colleagues, teachers, coaches… ?
Maybe in my effort to change my outer appearance it was my inner world that was striving to be changed?
Maybe my rebellion towards my mother was a cry for her to do something to help me get out of my protection mode that I was in? She didn’t know better. Or maybe she did? Maybe she saw my strength and knew I would be ok? She did the best she could – and she is amazing! I wonder who I would be today if I had had the surgery at a younger age. It probably would have robbed me of the lessons I have learned. Maybe. Maybe not. I cannot say.
Truthfully, in my desperate search for being NORMAL, I finally realize I don’t want normal anymore. I don’t want to be sleeping. I want to be fully awake, fully conscious, fully aware and dive into the raw currents that the river of life has to offer me! Even if that means getting bruised. I know I will be ok.
Faith tells me so and courage drives me.
I continue my awakening