I never liked being called by name. Why? It meant I was in trouble or in the spotlight. Or just maybe I’d be asked a question I couldn’t answer. God forbid I’d make a mistake or sound stupid!
Plus my name is mispronounced more than it is said correctly. Here’s a tip; remember CARE-uh or Care Bear.
And deep in my brain I associate excess attention with possible danger. I don’t want to attract the wrong kind of people; the people who claim to love me but don’t.
I also love anonymity — silently observing my environment; collecting information from sights and sounds. Staying in the shadows equals control. Control and I are so damn compatible.
I see now that I have a pattern of not receiving attention from the people I loved the most. My young mind equated their lack of response with being less than desirable. Something had to be wrong with me or perhaps I just wasn’t deserving? Tell me you haven’t had the same type of thoughts?
So what did I do? The less attention, the harder I worked. I over-achieved. I denied my own desires, sacrificing myself soliciting any sort of external validation. I needed them to make me feel good so I gave my all until I couldn’t anymore.
The tank ran dry. I broke open.
It takes courage to go within; to confront painful memories and the resulting behavior patterns. It’s actually more than courage; it’s guts and grit. Self-reflection and the commitment to change is not for the weak! And I don’t always see through my stories so I have to credit my support system of Soul Sisters and a gifted therapist for guiding me on this journey.
Teasing apart the layers is my recipe for healing.
I believed what I was told. I believed I was pathetically broken and I felt broken so it was easy! A victim mindset makes a great foundation for shaming, blaming, complaining, raging etc. In order to move forward I had to believe that I am NOT useless or dysfunctional. I had to believe in myself and my worthiness.
I am complex, scarred, sometimes shaken but I am nothing less than whole.￼ I am the sum of my experiences.
So as I grow softer and wiser, I grow towards remembering my uncensored essence. My red lipped smile and sassy silver streaked hair may give you the impression that I don’t have a care in the world. I even smile through my tears! Dearest, don’t let your first impression be a lasting one. I am human just like you. I feel it all.
As the seasons progress, I am shed layers of old expectations; some sliding off effortlessly and others hesitant to leave their weathered shell. I’m tending to the garden of me; deadheading so that my energy is redirected towards stability and new growth.
Tending to both harsh conditions and lush fertile seasons; I become who I forgot I was.
I am convinced that every emotion is valid. And every experience offers the opportunity to learn or let go. Will I be bitter or better?
Going within, I taste the energy and anguish of my 10 year old self. There were early wounds resulting from expressing herself as unique and imaginative. She carries the weight of family secrets and shame. Her determination to “be good” never wavers and her love of knowledge runs curiously deep.
As I excavate the early years, My Girlfriend Voice whispers to me that I am good. I am whole. I am enough. I was doing the best that I could do with what I had. I am good. I am whole. I am enough.
So what is required of me to continue living a vibrant life? Simply show up. Step forward in truth. Practice curiosity and compassion, especially when feeling stuck. I have everything I need. I am good. I am whole. I am enough.
I can promise you this…… I will be ME because it takes too much energy to be anyone else. I will be ME without justification or apology. I may be too much for some but those are not my people anyway. My responsibility is to myself. It’s strangely simple yet so profound!
So say my name; call me into the spotlight. Let’s dance in delight. You be you and I’ll be me. I am good. I am whole. I am enough. I’m Consistently Cara. In fact let’s make that a hashtag! #consistentlycara
I’d love to hear from you! What have you learned as you progress through the seasons of your life? What do you need to tell your 10 year old self? Your future self?
From the heart,