As humans, we have experiences in this life that are meant to sculpt the truest and most extraordinary versions of ourselves possible.
We base our whole identity on our past experiences.
It doesn’t mean that they are always enjoyable.
But it’s often the hard things that make us who we are.
They teach us valuable lessons.
They shape us.
But we don’t need to define ourselves by these experiences.
We can choose to take what we’ve learned from our past and use it to become who we want to be in the future.
Difficult experiences are never pleasant. But sometimes they can bring lessons that help you grow in new and unexpected ways.
Difficult experiences can allow you to:
Difficult experiences guide you to uncover your true potential and abilities.
They help you become who you are.
The trick is, you can’t let them define you.
It’s possible to keep the lesson — and heal the wound.
Difficult or not, our earliest experiences can stick with us for years. The kind of treatment and emotional support we received as children can influence our thoughts and behaviors well into adulthood.
If you grew up feeling criticized, dismissed, or unheard — it can feel really hurtful. Wounding even. As an adult, if someone makes you feel this way, you react from a place of this wound.
And if these wounds come from things like abuse or neglect, it just adds a whole other layer. When traumatized, you instinctively create coping mechanisms to protect yourself from feeling that way again. You might avoid getting close to others, feel unable to trust anyone, try and be perfect, or put up walls.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
To break free of these unhealthy ways of coping, you have to make sense of what happened to you in your past. To really get to know yourself
Because once you know why and how you are who you are, you can begin to make changes. And create a new way of being.
Your childhood is a part of you — and you can’t change the past.
But you can choose to look at things in a new way.
We’re creatures of habit. We love the comfort and assurance of knowing what’s next. We get attached to the familiar. It’s part of being human.
Even if it doesn’t feel good.
When something is a constant in your life, you become attached to it. It becomes your place of comfort. Your friend. Your go-to. Because it’s familiar. It can feel uncomfortable when you try to move away from it. It’s often not about the thing, but who you believe you are in relation to it.
Practicing non-attachment helps you to see that you’re more than what you’ve become attached to. You’re more than your:
Even if you know they aren’t good for you.
When you’re struggling with the idea of letting go of something you know isn’t good for you, try to look at yourself as an observer. Practice “sometimes” thinking.
You’re not an anxious person. You feel anxious sometimes.
You’re not an angry person. You get angry sometimes.
You’re not a shy person. You feel shy sometimes.
This way of looking at it allows you to expand your awareness beyond yourself. Because this state of being or doing is not permanent. It is not OF you. When you believe that these things make you who you are — it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But you’re so much more than the story you tell yourself.
And the thing is, we’re constantly growing and changing. When you practice non-attachment, you’re better able to adapt to change, you feel less bound to your thoughts, your feelings, or who you believe others expect you to be.
What would it be like to explore who you are without this thing you’ve become attached to?
You can change the story. You can be who you want to be.
When I look back on my life, some of the most difficult aspects of my experience have been the areas that have taught me some of my life’s greatest lessons.
If I hadn’t grown up with a parent that struggled with addiction — I wouldn’t have the inner resilience and strength those experiences taught me.
I wouldn’t have the compassion for others experiencing hardship and the ability to REALLY meet them where they’re at… because I’ve been there.
If I hadn’t experienced the life-altering shame and depression that occurred post-abortion and teenage pregnancy — I wouldn’t be able to understand the full landscape and scope of the human psyche.
If I hadn’t experienced the death of a parent at a young age — I wouldn’t have the deep gratitude and appreciation for the life right in front of me. Leaning in for all of it and choosing to follow my dreams vs staying in a state of ‘satisfaction’ with the way things are.
I wouldn’t have had the strength to make really difficult decisions in my life, despite all the logical choices, because my heart was pulling me forward.
I wouldn’t have known the experience of TRULY leaning into something SO much greater than myself and accepting the strength to not only survive — but thrive!
The human experience isn’t always easy or pleasant, but if we allow ourselves to receive the lessons and nudges that are trying to make their way into our lives we can begin to get closer to the authentic and true version of who we each are and meant to be in this life.
When we begin to look for the light, suddenly things become a little more clear.
As you begin this journey, be kind to yourself. It can be helpful to hire a coach, work with a therapist, or explore inner child work to help you process. See what works for you.
The way we experience life is so unique and extraordinary that a one size fits all approach just won’t work. We don’t come into this life or this experience with a handbook. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to figure it out as we go.
And sometimes we just need a little help.
As a transformational life coach, my purpose is to help others heal and rediscover their inner joy. I’d love to help guide you on your path to healing — so you can truly shine.
If you’re curious about inner child work, sign up for the next workshop here.
Or, if you need something a little more intimate, you can sign up to work with me 1:1 here.