This day, two years ago, I was counting down to my 50th birthday. The world and I have certainly changed a lot since then.
I gave myself an early birthday present this year. I gave myself the gift of me.
I’ve been co-dependent all my life. I was the chameleon; changing my colors to suit whomever I was with and whatever it seemed they wanted me to be. Early in life I internalized that the me I was on the inside was not pleasing to those on the outside. I found many people throughout my almost 52 years who were more than happy to reinforce this belief.
I wore my flexibility and easy-going nature as badges of honor – praising myself for being so in tune with others needs and adapting. I had no idea these were trauma responses or that it was toxic for me and my relationships.
When this all started caving in on me, I realized I had blended with others so well, I lost myself. I had to make some big changes.
This summer, I made a commitment to be present and trust myself. What a lot of fun that turned out to be. My intuition guided me exactly where I needed to be. I was led to heal in ways I couldn’t have imagined, discover my own voice, trust my instincts, and really love discovering me and being myself. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do, I tried new things, experienced myself in new ways. The entire summer was an amazing gift.
Some of my most magical moments this summer came from trusting my instincts and being present with myself.
- Being out on the lake to watch the sunrise over the mountains made my heart sing and was the happiest moment of my entire year
- Waking up and opening my tent window to see the trees and the mountains made me feel so proud of myself and filled my heart with so much joy
- Feeling the nudge to turn around on the bike path and head back only to find hundreds of pelicans flying in formation over my head and I was able to lay down in the grass to watch them
- Hiking on a trail that led to an amazing view – pushing myself was so exhilarating
- Spotting a beaver swimming beneath me in the water, seeing the fish swim and sharing the lake with the loons in the early morning was pure magic
- Biking on paths all summer in my city – paths I never knew existed and several times having to stop because the view just took my breath away
- Writing in forests and river edges and parks
- Connecting with strangers
- Capturing some of my best nature photos
I’m still a work-in-progress. This summer gave me a great opportunity to begin acknowledging myself. Every day, I get a clearer picture of who I am and the way I want to live my life.
And that little girl who thought she was all wrong – turns out to she’s a woman who is all right.
I have a feeling this gift will last me a lifetime. I’m excited to see where this next trip around the sun is going to take me.