My deepest longing, ever since I can remember, was to feel welcomed in the world.
To feel seen. To matter. To belong.
But, most of the time I felt “missed” by the people who were supposed to see me the most. The message was: “You’re not welcome here.”
It was so painful.
I call this a wound
A wounding is an event or string of events that change the landscape of our lives.
As a kid, I would lie awake at night with a heavy heart wondering: Why is this happening to me?
my wounding had to do with not feeling welcomed.
I wanted to fix the problem, make the pain go away. And so, I hatched a plan:
I will find a way to make you happy so you’ll like me. If you like me, you’ll be nice. If you are nice, it will mean I matter. If I matter, it will mean I belong here. If I belong here, then finally I will be OK.
but masking the wound only makes it worse
I went to great lengths in order to feel welcomed, which lead to many years of people-pleasing and self-hatred and along the way, I lost little pieces of my Self.
It’s painful to remember, and even today I can still feel it.
The untreated wound becomes more and more infected.
It whispers a distorted story and we end up making life-altering choices to avoid any more pain.
In my early twenties, I found myself at a point where I stopped connecting with people. It was just too painful to continue giving myself away. So I ended relationships and I did not make new friends.
Eventually, I couldn’t mask the pain anymore.
I found a healer who listened and helped me begin the process of learning to sit with this part of myself.
I learned to be a witness to my pain rather than kicking myself to the curb in shame and disgust.
I became curious about my needs. I learned to be in contact with my Authentic Self.
I started making friends–the kind who could love and appreciate me for the funny, kind-hearted, inspiring person that I am.
the wound and its gift
I continued to do the work of collecting my little-lost bits, and I began to feel joy on a regular basis. I understood that because I didn’t feel welcomed in the world (that’s the wounding), I had to learn to welcome myself (that’s the gift).
And so I learned to welcome myself.
I learned to love myself.
I learned to speak sweetly to myself.
It wasn’t easy because even though I ‘got it’ in theory, I kept wanting that love and affection to come from someone else.
Today I can tell you truly that the real gold lies in seeing myself, listening to myself, loving and embracing who I am – ALL of who I am.
I deeply respect and understand the wounded parts of other people. And I am super-duper good at welcoming others and shining the light for them because it wasn’t shined for me.
I have a funny saying: Sometimes, gifts come wrapped in crappy packaging.
Goodies can come out of the hurts you’ve had in life.
You’ve got to stop playing small and believing that what happened to you defines you.