Do You Feel Like You Belong?

Photo by me from my archive.

Dear Future Self,

Last weekend, I joined a women’s circle that is a regular part of the Heroic coaching programme I’m participating in.

It’s interesting to watch me feel more comfortable in these spaces.

Not just being in a Zoom call with strangers, dancing, meditating sharing parts of our lives, but also being with other women.

Identifying as a woman.

I still have to deal with a lot of internalized misogyny. So many prejudices, built as a defence.

It’s so much easier to say I don’t want to participate in these kinds of events, than to go and claim my space. I’m invited, yet I feel excluded due to feeling inadequate.

I’ve been in that space for far too long.

Yet, or maybe as a result, I find it one of the hardest things to let go of.

I also have no doubt that I will be able to overcome that fear. This is part of the journey, it might be scary, but it can also open doors to so many new experiences.

I can see that I’ve come a long way, and the fact that I’m attending these kinds of meetings now is a big shift for me.

Why do I find it difficult?

Because I never learned to value many of the feminine qualities. And don’t get me wrong, I do believe that every person has masculine and feminine qualities, regardless of their gender.

And no one has to be a certain way, we each have to find our own balance.

But I know that I’ve not been raised outside our patriarchal system, and that I learned to value rationality over intuition, being able to do things over asking for help and so much more.

I didn’t want to be helpless, maybe I also didn’t feel like I had that option, and wait for someone to do something for me. I valued rationality, bravery (even if it’s just for show and not real) and practicality over being dreamy, going with the flow, accepting help and care.

Just to write accepting help and care is difficult because there’s still a part that thinks I don’t deserve it.

So, all my life I felt very uncomfortable with closeness, a kind of openness and vulnerability. Carefree sweetness.

I found it intriguing, but I didn’t know how to be a part of it, it didn’t feel like it was for me. So, I found [false] pride in being the opposite.

It’s funny how that goes, no?

We look for something, we see that we don’t have it, and then start to feel like we don’t deserve it. And then we say we don’t want it and don’t need it. And start to think it’s our personality, our identity, the way we are.

But it’s not true. It’s protection and a reaction, not a free decision. It’s blocking the flow because it is cutting ourselves off from experiences we might actually enjoy.

So, I’m slowly allowing myself to open up to it. It’s still scary and uncomfortable.

However, I’m delighted that I learned that feeling uncomfortable is an unmistakable sign for being in the right place, for having a chance to grow.

Being with other women and celebrating each other, being vulnerable and honest, without being ashamed, or jumping in to play the protector (a great way to distract from one’s own feelings), still makes me tense up inside.

But I’m looking forward to it becoming easier and to see what will happen then.

Dear future self, is it easier for you now? What changed and how?

Dear reader, did you have similar experiences? In which areas of your life? How are you allowing yourself to grow?

► My Future Self Journal ▼

Why do I write to my future self? ◼︎ ●

Self-Actualizing, personal development, the search for more options, finding out how to actually live our best lives, or simply experiencing growth and change for any reason, might feel weird, scary or uncertain.

Yet impermanence or becoming is something we all share.

I started to write and publish some diary post a while ago, and looking back at them even a month later, I felt like I should rewrite them because my perspective had changed so much.

But that would be like trying to erase the most essential part: the journey.

We don't just arrive at a certain point, we struggle, fight, fall down, run in the wrong direction, come back, stand up, fall again and yet continue.

We laugh, love, enjoy, paint, sing, dance, discuss and find ourselves surprised by the unexpected. With every experience, we spiral up and can dive into deeper levels of experience and understanding if we allow ourselves to do so.

This series is a documentation of a journey into the unknown.

It shows how vulnerability and fear can be present, and welcomed, and not stop us.

It's about admitting mistakes and acknowledging how easily we can be wrong, no matter how mindful, present, in tune and aware we are.

We'll never know until we try.

But most of all it's about celebrating life in all its different forms and shapes, colours and sounds and tastes, in depth and lightness - to witness life's endless beauty and continuous unfolding.

We are all a part of life's magnificence, the question is: How much of it do we allow ourselves to enjoy and experience?

The more we open up and liberate ourselves from what we thought we knew, the more we allow to see things in new ways and the more love we share, the more magical life becomes.

May we open our present with presence and let our future selves continue to experience life wholeheartedly.

May my honesty inspire yours and show you that there is nothing to fear. Everything is working out for the greatest good. ❤️

With lots of love for you and this world,
Verena

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