I was such an exuberant and joyful child, that I was hard to contain. Filled with so much happiness, and delight in everything, I danced and played and ran forward and back so many times that my parents often called me Tigger. In the child’s book Winnie the Pooh, there is a character like this, who is so full of the joy, that the rest of the party of friends often wish he would be lost so that they could get a rest. I think my parents felt the same way. Although in the end of Winnie the Pooh’s story, when they are lost, it’s Tigger who helps guide them home.
In fact all through my childhood I felt like I had won the lottery. Everything was seen through the eyes of gratitude and happiness.
And then when it was not, I was so used to being that way, that I pretended to myself that I was still bubbly and happy. I am yet to discover what triggered the change into the “pretender”.
I began then to smile when I was sad, to put on my happy face whenever I felt that people were uncomfortable, when there was anger at home I became the little shining dancing person in the room and pushed the anger down, pretending that I was okay.
It has taken a lifetime so far to understand that I have no control over others, only myself. I can only bring happiness to my own heart by being confident enough to be true to myself, to speak my truth, and live my truth. For me that’s peace.
Having been on a personal growth and spiritual journey for over twenty years, I still find myself having to stop and remember not to say ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’. Not to offer to help when, in fact, I am absolutely exhausted.
The more conscious we become, meaning the more awake we are, the more we have the confidence to make the choice in the moment that is right for us. And I know that sounds really easy, but you know as well as I do that it can be so uncomfortable that we choose to either fold or evade or abandon ourselves in order not to be perceived as mean, or selfish. And yes it goes on until we realise, that unless we change it will, indeed, end in tears.
I have found even recently that I am very strong and confident in my choices with my children. I am able to set good boundaries with many people, but there are people that through historical trauma and patterning still elicit from me a wishy-washy response. A tendency to fold, hide and hope the situation will go away.
As we have the courage to release the masks of the past, we begin to reveal our true divine nature, slowly and surely we allow ourselves to be seen for who we really are. Our innate and true light can begin to shine through us, we can allow ourselves to be angry (a biggie for me), or joyous, or sad, or peaceful, whatever is true and real for us.
And in doing so, we become more confident. We are living in our own skins, in our own values. We are respectful of our own feelings and so more peaceful.
That’s real contentment, real peace. No pretender here.
Photo by Patrick Fore