I came across these pictures of me from a trip to Canada when we were kids.
I was struck by these very different images of myself.
I recognize the little girl on the left. She’s the demure, good girl clutching her purse. (Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good purse!).
I completely identify with her. She’s responsible, a rule follower, always polite, and the people pleaser. She never took up too much space and almost never spoke up.
It’s the picture of me on the right that caught me by surprise.
I wondered about her. She looked sassy, confident, a bit of a devil-may-care gleam in her eyes. Still rocking the purse I might add although not clutching it to her. Hand on her jutting hip. Who was that little girl? What happened to her?
Rule follower, people pleasing me was the side that I showed the world.
She wanted to fit in, have people need her, and be good. It was safe. She seemed to get more attention. Let’s face it, good girls were accepted by adults; parents, teachers, coaches. But along with trying to fit in, I ended up blending in. The other side of me never blossomed. I never learned to let both sides of me become one.
Being sassy, confident perhaps even outspoken would have been riskier.
I would have been seen and heard. I wouldn’t have tried to conform and be who I thought everyone expected me to be. I may have been out front, leading instead of following. I wouldn't have been afraid to make mistakes. To the little girl on the left, that was scary. It was safer to keep the sassy, confident me hidden.
Until safe was making me miserable.
Life keeps handing me experiences that are calling for the sassy, confident me to emerge. I now see that these opportunities have always been woven into my life. But I said no along the way.
Now I say yes.
It’s not an overnight transformation. It’s a journey into wholeness. I choose to be on this journey because I want the sassy, confident little girl to catch up and hold hands with the responsible, caring little girl. Together they become one strong, resilient, courageous woman who trusts, leads and loves fully.
Is there another side of you that is trying to emerge?
That part of you that is courageous, confident, and doesn’t hold herself back out of fear? The side of you that doesn’t worry about what other people think because you know you are being your authentic self? A self that loves every part of you, inside and out.
Women tell me that’s what they desire. I think it’s a longing that’s always with us, getting louder with each passing year. Especially as the children leave the nest, parents pass, and we no longer cling to the role that has defined us. That part of you that is seeking to emerge into the light…IS you! It’s time to welcome her into being! Will you join me?