Tag Archives: Find yourself

Recovering my Authenticity and Living it

At first, I called this post Rediscovering my Authenticity,
but that quickly switched to Recovering my Authenticity.
To learn how to be myself and to be able to live authentically
I had to recover myself. I had to recover what had been lost.

When I was a young child I knew who I was. I delighted in bluebells, fairies, snapping pea pods, dragonflies, curling up with a book, climbing trees, drawing, swinging as high as I could on the garden swing, but very quickly those simple pleasures faded as I concentrated on fitting in, being conformed, and moulded into what other people wanted me to be.

Wand – Mirror – Amethyst – Bluebells – © Lisa Shambrook

As an already world and trauma weary seventeen-year-old, I once wrote: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me…’ (Sept 1989)

Limitless – Dream – Crescent Moon – Stars – © Lisa Shambrook

I spent my childhood being groomed into an overly conscientious teen, bombarded with responsibility and emotional pressure, with a built-in inability to rebel. I spent my twenties trying to be perfect in a world where perfection is unattainable. In my thirties I broke down, but that didn’t stop the internalised and external burdens, and in my forties I began to say no, to question blind obedience, and to realise just how important it is to be exactly who I am. To be who I was born to be.

Painting – Oak Leaf – Magic Tree – Treasure – © Lisa Shambrook

Now, thirty-two years later, I know exactly how to be me.

Lisa – Safe – Green Witch – Carnelian Heart – © Lisa Shambrook

Anyone who reads this blog knows how important being true to yourself is to me, just two of my older posts are:  Never Changing Who I Am – Believe in Yourself, and Losing your Armour – Breaking Down Walls – Embrace YOU. Both talk about accepting and believing in yourself. I was stripped of who I was at a young age, and it took four decades to recover that person. I talk of my trauma and subsequent counselling in this post: My Journey through Different Channels of Counselling.

Carnelian and Treasure – Dusky Rose – Autumn Forest – Nature – © Lisa Shambrook

It takes great courage to be who you are, to stop masking in a society that wants you to behave in their chosen acceptable ways, to reject conditioning – both social and in a faith setting, to step away from that narrow path and live life, to embrace who you intrinsically always were, are, and want to be.

Crystals – Crescent Moon – Wolves – Dragon Grid – © Lisa Shambrook

I could lament many things, and some I will, but, as half a century creeps up on me, I’m learning that life is too short to waste. Life really is about bluebells, dragons, good food, curling up with a book, climbing trees, painting, losing myself in the other worlds that I write, and swinging as high as I can on a park swing! It’s also about stars and the moon, acorns and acorn cups, and dreams. It’s about gems and crystals, mindfulness and crystal grids, magic, and dusky roses. It’s about Coldbackie beach and Greenwich Park, animals, and running with wolves. It’s about walking through forests, splashing through oceans, and standing on mountains. It’s about fighting for equality, for mental health, for loving those you love. And it’s about knowing who you are and being exactly that person, with no apologies, no resentment, and never needing anyone’s permission to be you.

Samhain Grid – Earthy Colours – Forest – Black Cat – © Lisa Shambrook

I’ve recovered the little girl who believed in magic, who thought dragonflies were really baby dragons, and who wandered through bluebell woods looking for fairies. I rescued the child who didn’t need to be perfect, who didn’t even think about her flaws, and loved who she was. That child no longer needs perfection; she doesn’t want to conform, she wants to rebel, and she can! She can see the world as it is and be sad, but also hopeful. She can walk through mossy forests and see Mother Nature smiling back at her. She can gaze at the stars and know that she can reach them in so many ways. I can be exactly who I want to be, because I know how to be me.

Wild – Intuitive – Free – © Lisa Shambrook

Take a look in the mirror and love who you are.

I find ecstasy in living; the mere sense of living is joy enough. (Emily Dickinson)

41. Dan, Vince, Roxy, Cait, Bekah & Lisa, Jan 2010 crop I’ve often wondered what brings real happiness… after all a couple just won £56million on the National Lottery, would that bring me happiness? Erm…probably! Yet I don’t have a fraction of that and I’m happy.

There’s no doubt that a million or two would contribute to my happiness, but money won’t be my ultimate path to happiness!
‘All you need is Love’… maybe, but not necessarily that recently celebrated Valentine love…it does help to have a soul mate and a friend, but the love I’m talking about is the love you have for yourself.
‘ To love oneself is the beginning
of a lifelong romance’
(Oscar Wilde)
I turned from a quiet and shy schoolgirl, into a teenager caught within a cage of responsibility, desperately trying to assert and rebel, to a young woman finding love and needing acceptance, but I had no idea who I was… I had become a wife and a mother, but who was I?
Are we ever truly happy with who we are? Seven years ago I extricated myself from a breakdown and set about discovering myself…
Back in 1989 I wrote: ‘I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how, I don’t even know how to be me…’ then in 2004 I began to exorcise my demons: ‘I wanted to be everything everyone wanted me to be, but I didn’t know how to be me, so I tore off my mask and ripped out my heart, and left my soul bare to bleed. I clenched my fists tight and screamed out loud, now I’m learning how to be me…’ It took another four or five years before I could close that chapter: ‘My heart is now open and clear to see, and I don’t feel the need to please. People can take me for what they want me to be, but I only need to be me. My heart can soar in a world of its own, and no one can stop me at all. For over the years there’s a lesson I’ve learned, and I know exactly how to be me.’
So what makes you happy? I think it’s knowing who you are and making the best of yourself and finding joy in what is around you…allow yourself the freedom of being who you are meant to be.
To me, that’s recognising your greatness within.
‘To be a star you must follow your own light,
follow your own path,
and never fear the darkness
for that is when the stars shine their brightest.’
(anon)
Happiness for me is…family, a walk in the snow with a loopy dog, throwing snowballs, laughing and being together…it is writing and losing myself in the story within my head…creating scrapbook pages full of memories…painting and drawing…knowing who I am in the great scheme of things…and sharing that love with those around me… and yes, I found myself. ♥