“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” — Paulo Coelo
Becoming begins when we’re born when our brains aren’t fully developed and we are completely dependent upon the people around us. We tend to take on the characteristics of those caregivers to meet our basic needs and subsist. When we’re young and vulnerable we want to be accepted. Without understanding how they treat others, those closest to us most unfavorable traits such as hostility, lack of self esteem, anger and indifference can be absorbed into our “DNA”. Those traits reinforce adverse behaviors in ourselves such as low self esteem, self-criticism, fear and uncertainty.
The trick to unbecoming takes time, reflection and a huge dose of honesty. In my experience, the last part, honesty, is major. Being completely honest with ourselves takes us out of our comfort zone, but isn’t that where we need to go in order to peel away years of accepting, without question, who we are?
My story is unique but the path I took felt right for me. Unbecoming who I was has been a challenge and a joy. It began seriously for me when my mother passed away. I was fairly close with her so she was the caregiver I emulated most. A large part of my agreement to stifle myself was my belief that I needed her acceptance and approval. Then in 2013 when she died, I felt lost and adrift; I had no idea why, that’s when things broke open for me. I didn’t know who I really was, what I wanted, what I feared or what my reality was. As my “roller coaster” journey to self-realization began, I was eventually able to see that everything I did and how I saw myself was made by a former self I could no longer identify with. As time passed and the layers of the past fell away I began to feel at peace, happier and completely comfortable with the life choices I was making.
I would say that’s the key, when you feel complete peace, happy and comfortable, you’re on your way to unbecoming who you aren’t. When you step out of your comfort zone, letting go of what doesn’t feel right or good is a rite of passage for your soul. Connecting with your truth opens the door to a life that’s authentic and unique. It’s certainly not easy or something you can plan, it’s a matter of unlearning everything about yourself that you’ve just accepted. Just Imagine how much more meaningful your life will be when you’re living as the person your were born to be.
“That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.” – Meredith Monk
No one can tell you how to unbecome the person you aren’t or tell you how to let go of the ways that aren’t true to who you really are, but when you have the idea or notion of what’s possible, things will begin to slowly change and you will then allow who you really are to be liberated. Once the voyage to self authenticity begins, it will be your way of living for the rest of your life. Michael Bryant has quite a story to share of his brokenness and his unbecoming, it is well worth your time to listen.
Women’s History Month
Hedy Lamar was a glamourous, beautiful movie star, but she was also highly intelligent, ideas for inventions came naturally to her. The patent she filed with co-inventor George Antheil aimed to protect their war-time invention for radio communications to ‘hop’ from one frequency to another, so that Allied torpedoes couldn’t be detected by the Nazis. She was the ingenious inventor who planted a seed that would blossom into some of today’s most ubiquitous technology, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cordless phones and cell phones.
To honor all the women I know and I’m connected with, whether you’re famous or not, your life matters, you are strong, empathetic and you make a difference. We are all “she-roes” in our own way.