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  • Writer's pictureNaomi

I wonder sometimes what we are all missing out on because so many of us just don’t feel safe and comfortable enough to show up in the world as our fullest selves.

One thing I believe deeply is that every human I encounter, alive or dead, has something valuable to teach me.

And not just the obvious ones like Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, or Mother Theresa (whose leadership and teachings have fundamentally impacted the way I conceptualize my own human purpose and responsibilities).

But literally everyone.

The other moms with familiar vacant eyes who share my same waiting room.

The cashier behind the register who so gently returns the pack of gum to my child after scanning it in.

The person rushing past me on the road, only to awkwardly avoid my gaze as we end up nose to nose at the next red light.

Who are these people? What are they facing today? What do they know and understand about the world that is so specific to them that I could never learn it from anyone else?

Sometimes it feels like I have to physically restrain myself from begging them to show me the full spectrum of all their shadow and light.

Humans used to terrify me. The number of social interactions that still have me crawling in my skin at the memory of my anxiety-induced insanity is staggering. But when I finally realized that each person I meet is filled with a deeply personal and specific type of wisdom, I didn’t want to hide and isolate myself anymore. The possibility of missing out on learning from so many potential teachers has become too great a risk.

Now, as I come further and further out of hiding myself and open up to the possibility that I could also be the teacher that someone needs, I find myself wondering what brilliance is being kept from the world because so many of us are still in hiding.

What could we learn and accomplish together if we all gave up the ruse of playing out our assigned parts and instead showed up daily in our own glorious, messy, brilliance?!

Perhaps it is selfish, but it saddens me to think about what I might be missing out on because someone around me has learned that they must hide pieces of themselves in order to stay safe.

How do I coax them out of their shell and into the warmth and brilliance of coming home to themselves by learning to cultivate safety from within?

My only hope is that, as I continue working to show up in the world in all of my own messy imperfection, I will somehow be giving others around me permission to do the same.

  • Writer's pictureNaomi

I used to be convinced that no one liked me.

Believed that I was inherently unlikable and that I needed to figure out how to be someone else in order to be accepted. It didn’t matter how accepting or inclusive people were, there was always the thought in the back of my head that they were just pretending. That I was the charity case and that people only felt bad for me. I changed friends frequently because I was trying so hard to find a place where I felt accepted and safe. It didn't work.

I didn’t understand that the reason I felt so unaccepted was that I had no concept of how to accept myself. I didn’t know that the safety I craved was something I could only create internally.

Twice, when someone I was dating worked up the nerve to tell me that they loved me, I broke off the relationship. (My now husband was one of them. Bless his persistent heart.) Both times I told them that they were confused. Explained that they couldn’t possibly love me if they actually knew me. Apologized for leading them to believe I was someone that I was not. Someone that was worthy of their love.

I didn’t know that the person who was truly incapable of loving me was myself.

I was in my 30s before I really started to do the work of learning to love and accept myself.

I still notice that old script creeping up in my brain. The one that says people might not like me. But it doesn’t debilitate me into pretending and hiding anymore. At least not the majority of the time.

I’m doing the ongoing work of getting to know myself.

I’ve learned how to cultivate internal safety and acceptance.

I know that not everyone will like me, and that doesn’t scare me anymore.

I am comfortable letting myself be seen and I trust that the people who choose to stay are the exact ones that were always meant to play a part in my story.

This is the same work that I do with my clients.

I help them come home to themselves. We separate the external from the internal and focus on what they can control: how to know, accept, love, and honor themselves.

If you’re tired of trying to live into the version of you that everyone else will fully accept… maybe it’s time to start learning what it looks like to fill that need internally instead?

If you don’t know where to start, I’m here to help. I’m ready to hold safe and nonjudgmental space for your journey back home to yourself. You don’t have to face that inner critic on your own.

Your first session is always on me.

You would be shocked by how quickly the healing can begin when you have the support of a coach. I would be honored to hold that healing space for you.

One of the most impactful pieces of my emotional healing and transformation has been the practice of writing letters to my younger self.

This is a very basic tool that I learned in the early days of incorporating self-compassion skills into my own mental health journey. It is a practice that I come back to over and over again, for one reason.... because it works!

It is something that I also suggest often to my clients when we inevitably uncover their own untended emotional wounds.

I recently wrote the following letter to my 3-year-old self after uncovering an early emotional wound during a powerful session of meditation.

Dearest little one,

I see your fear and confusion. You are safe now. You do not yet know how to lovingly hold space for your own emotions, and that's ok. You will learn.

You should never have been asked to make your needs smaller, quieter, or less burdensome to accommodate the comfort of your caregivers. Some of the adults around you could not give you what you needed simply because they never learned how to do that even for themselves.

You are allowed to feel the fear, the hurt, the anger, and the need for reassurance and comfort. I will hold that for you now so that you can finally rest.

For a time, you will respond to this emotional abandonment by learning to abandon yourself. This is a survival instinct. But the abandonment will not last forever. You will learn to allow and then heal these wounds as you lovingly reparent your childhood self. Your resilience and capacity to keep going until you finally discover the needed tools for your own healing is nothing short of miraculous.

You are worthy and deserving of the loving safety that you seek. Though it does not come in the ways, or in the time frame that you deserve, it will come. You will learn to be your own source of unconditional love and safety.

The journey will eventually prove to be worth it. You will learn to channel your own pain and healing into creating space to lovingly hold the pain of others, thereby facilitating even more healing in the world.

You no longer need to be afraid of what you feel. Though it doesn't seem so now, your ability to feel so deeply will one day serve as your greatest source of connection to others.

You are loved. You are safe. You are worthy.

You do not deserve this pain, but you will eventually channel it into something truly beautiful. Thank you for enduring. I am here to help you hold this pain and I will never walk away from you again.


Future You

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