I Didn’t Know Who I Was
I felt uncomfortable in my own skin most of the time. I felt empty. I had no idea who I was. I didn’t know what I stood for or what I valued. I did a lot of dumb stuff because of that. I got involved with the wrong people. I dated the absolute wrong men. I said yes when I wanted to say no. I didn’t know how to say no. I didn’t know what I should say no to. To be honest, I still don’t always know how to say, “no”.
I accepted things I shouldn’t have accepted. I let people walk all over me. I mistook attention for love. I couldn’t demand to be treated how I deserved. I couldn’t ask for what I needed. I didn’t know what I needed. I didn’t know I needed anything at all.
I dated a guy once. Anytime I spoke up, tried to demand respect, let him know he was not doing his part I was a “bitch”. No woman wants to be a witch so I shut up. I let things slide. I called it “picking my battles.”
I didn’t know who I was. I thought it was me. “Am I a ‘bitch’?”
Was I being unrealistic? Was I saying the wrong things? Was it my fault?
It was hard to get out of that relationship. I would end things, walk outside my apartment, and there he would be. I thought it was endearing. I thought it was love. If I didn’t know anything else about myself I knew I was loved by him.
I was wrong.
I just didn’t know myself.
When you don’t know who you are you can’t separate other people’s issues from you. You can’t recognize their character flaws because you think it’s you. When you know who you are you know what is not of you. You are empowered to make better decisions about who and what is allowed in your life.
But I didn’t know who I was and that guy stayed in my life way too long.
I didn’t know me. It showed in my personality. It showed in my interactions with others. It showed in my relationships. It showed in the way I presented myself. It showed in what I settled for.
It was apparent on the inside of me as well. I didn’t feel at peace. I didn’t feel confident. I had little joy and experienced little fulfillment. I was always waiting on the next phase of life. A year from now. Life will be better then. I’ll feel comfortable in my skin then. I’ll be happy then.
I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t being the real me. I just didn’t know it.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. I honestly believe most people don’t know who they are because life teaches us to suppress our true selves at a young age. After so many experiences of suppressing your true self – your true feelings, your true beliefs, your true desires – you can’t find her anymore.
When I was a young girl, maybe about 6 or 7, I was outside at a baseball game with my family. I was standing on top of the family car crying while being videotaped. That tape was often played in my household with my siblings and cousins nearby laughing at me. Everyone got such a kick out of that tape. Everyone except me.
I decided in that moment that people are judgmental. So I hid. I went through life suppressing my true self. Not wanting to be seen or heard. Keeping everything inside of me. Trying to protect me.
But then I lost me. I had stacked up so many bricks all around me. Nothing could get in. Yet nothing could get out either. I boxed myself in and the effects showed up in my life repeatedly.
I didn’t see me. I didn’t even know me.
When you don’t know who you are it’s hard to enjoy life. It is hard to be purposeful. Nothing’s aligned. What you’re doing and saying doesn’t align with the heart of who you are. You can sense that. Even if you can’t put a name to it you know that something isn’t right. Something doesn’t feel right. You live each day with something not feeling quite right.
That was me. I rarely felt comfortable. Things rarely felt right.
Life wasn’t right.
I wrote previously about how I had to grow to go to Haiti. The way that I had to grow is that I had to rediscover who I am. I had to find me. I had to get to know the real Charlene. I had to learn and in some cases decide who I am. I had to define my values and then learn how to live by them. I had to decide what I believe in and then learn to trust in those beliefs. I had to trust in me.
I can now walk through the world in a way that is meaningful to me. I show up the way that I want to. I engage in the relationships that add value to me and that let me be me. My outer world matches my inner world.
Things are finally in alignment.
And it feels good. I feel good. I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. Life is joyful and fulfilling. I love my life. I love life itself. That’s why I started coaching. Too many people have fallen out of love with life because they lost sense of themselves.
What about you? Do you know who you are? Does the world you experience on the outside align with who you are on the inside? Or do you feel “not right”.
If you don’t know who you are and you’re ready to rediscover her let’s chat. Sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me at www.transformwithcharlene.com. Let’s get back to the real you. Let’s get you back to the joyful, fulfilling life you knew at some point. That’s the life you deserve.