When I was younger, I was looking for permission. Permission to be me.
Looking back, I see that I was carrying around a wound. A wound that created the belief, "I don't fit in and something is fundamentally wrong with me."
That made me feel like I needed permission, validation, and approval in order to be the real me. There was even a safety issue in here: I feared that if I was myself, I would be hurt or shamed.
Have you ever felt that way?
Like you need permission, at some deep level, to feel and express your emotions, to share your unique perspectives, to BE YOU?
Like something bad would happen to you (hurt, rejection, shaming) if you were unapologetically yourself?
If you relate, I first want to say that I'm so sorry that you carry that wound. It's SO deeply painful to feel like it's not okay to be ourselves. It's painful to feel like we have to contort ourselves into another form to be palatable and acceptable to others (or to feel safe in the world).
First off, I want you to know that it IS possible to feel confident enough to "show up" as you on a daily basis. That's how I live now (the majority of the time), and when I have moments of insecurity, I know how to shift back to the security that who I am is good and right.
Second, in case you need to hear it today:
You have permission to be you,
In this world.
You have permission to
find environments and relationships that
accept and honor
your spirit, soul
YOU are the
Take that in. Read it another time (or three).
If you want to grow in your ability to be confidently yourself, here are a few suggestions that helped me:
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT has dedicated over 10,000 hours to supporting Highly Sensitive People as a psychotherapist and global HSP consultant. She practices psychotherapy in Boulder, CO and specializes in working with sensitivity and healing of trauma (EMDR). She's also the founder of Intuitive Warrior, an online platform offering resources and support to Highly Sensitive People worldwide. An HSP herself, Brooke went years feeling overwhelmed and anxious before learning how to support her nervous system. She considers it an honor to get to share that knowledge with fellow HSPs.
You are a gift to the world. You aren't alone. We need you here.