I’ve been listening to the Oprah Winfrey Podcast – Super Soul Conversations and recently I had such a profound realization from the episode titled The Roots – which is specifically about how there is no moving up or out into the world unless we are fully acquainted with the person we are meant to be. I feel like that has really been a big theme for me personally over the past year. And one of the most profound things I took from this episode was how when we share our authentic truths about ourselves, we give others permission to do the same and through that, we can start to uncover who it is we were meant to be.
Naked & Unashamed
So, I’m getting emotionally naked and unashamed and sharing 3 things you may not know about me and I’m no talking about things like – my favorite snack is hummus! Because I so strongly believe that truth-telling really unlocks people and helps us all build deeper more meaningful connections both with ourselves and with others.
1. It took me a long time to fully grasp how childhood trauma has shaped who I am today.
We’ve all seen the content shared across social media from various life coaches, therapists, and “gurus” about how so many characteristics we display as adults are actually trauma responses, specifically from childhood and specifically in empaths. Now I am 100% an empath and I always thought this was a beautiful, if not exhausting personality trait. Additionally, I had a pretty idyllic childhood so how could my deeply developed empathy and traits as an empath be a trauma response?
Simple, when I started looking into what childhood trauma is, I needed to set aside my preconceived notion that childhood trauma was always in response to a violent or abusive situation. NOT SO – I’m starting to understand that trauma can come from any significant, life-altering moment. For me there are two that are significant from my childhood:
I have very unpleasant memories of starting school. I hated it. I was timid and terrified and wanted my mother and I remember being held back by the teacher as my mom left, while I cried and screamed for her not to leave me. This was an equally traumatic experience for my mom and one that still haunts her today too.
Being tested and then moved into a remedial class was hugely traumatic for me as a child and it has a massive impact on how I view myself and specifically my intelligence as an adult. I always feel like I’m the dumbest person in a group. Even though on an intellectual level I know this is not true, subconsciously it’s always there. That inner critic reminding me how stupid I am.
2. I am a chameleon, I fit in everywhere but belong nowhere.
I mean, I guess this also goes back to trauma responses right? That I can fit in anywhere and with any group of people but never really have a sense of belonging. I’m so often the outsider in situations and in groups, even though I am part of those groups and family units.
I can admit to any group or any situation but never truly feel like I fit in because I’m never truly my authentic self. I also think that my struggle with depression and anxiety has made this worse.
3. I hide so much of who I am it’s impossible to really know me.
People who comment on my social media content will often comment on the fact that I am so open and balanced in what I share, the good, the bad, and the ugly. But the truth is that I am very difficult to get to know because even though it may seem like I’m an open book and I share so openly, there is so much of who I am that I keep hidden from others.
It’s been quite enlightening writing this post, it’s made me realize that so much of who I am, what I share, and what I hide is related to trauma responses. Keeping people at arm’s length feels like keeping myself safe.
I do also believe that some of my trauma responses were developed as an adult too. For sure, my 7 year struggle with infertility and more specifically recurrent pregnancy loss, was a hugely traumatic and defining, and life-altering period in my life and I know for a fact that it shaped who I am and how I respond to the world around me.
Also, this post has left me with one lingering question…. at my core… who am I really and my honest answer is that I don’t really know. And I’ve known for years that I don’t really know because it’s a question that I brush over and push down every time it crops up.
Will get naked and unashamed and share your truths?
If being truly honest unlocks people and builds true connections, then I’d love to hear yours. Leave a comment in the comments section below or tag me if you share on social media.