What follows is one of the hardest things I’ve been nudged to write and share so far.…
These are some of the lyrics from a song in the Disney movie Mulan – the 2020 live action version:
Heard this song again recently and these words floored me. Cathartic* tears flowed. With these tears a wave of freedom and relief washed over me. An absolute realisation that I am making progress on my life’s journey. I have never really had any sense of this growth before.
I think I am finally beginning to see my reflection showing who I am inside.
I know I strive for evolution, for development, for forward movement in my personal growth. I know I set big expectations for myself and the kind of person I want to Be. But it always seems an endless road, a winding, twisty track through seemingly impassable mountains and in a thick mist so I can never tell if I’m making headway (or heart-way, in my case).
So I repeat… I think I am finally beginning to see my reflection showing who I am inside.…
The ‘who I am inside’ is this Beautiful Soul.
She is Sunshine personified.
She is deeply connected to Nature, its rhythms and cycles.
She is highly intuitive.
She is a Creative.
She is neither ‘too much’ nor ‘not enough’.
She is kind, courageous and compassionate.
One of her gifts is creating a nurturing, empathic space where Loved Ones find safety and find soul solace.
Her Heart is Wild.
She comes alive in Mama Africa’s wild spaces where her Spirit wanders free but is never lost.
She is tenacious, feisty and fun to be with.
She is the Little Miss Sunshine her mother called her as a child.
She loves fiercely but lightly – a complete paradox.
Her shadow side is sensitive and struggles with equanimity. She has absorbed false messages over the years of “too much emotionally”, “emotional rollercoaster” “too smart”, “high maintenance”, “too independent”, “too needy” and “unlovable drama queen”. At the same time she has also received the message of “not enough” in many ways. In her fear of rejection she will cling on for dear life, singular in her focus to prove she is worthy of love and acceptance. She will twist and contort herself to be who she thinks she should be based on the perceived expectations of others. So counter-productive, this leads to overwhelm for both her as well as the object of her love.
My growth journey is seeking balance. To take the best parts of the paradox of loving fiercely while also learning to love lightly. This can only happen in authenticity. In giving myself permission to be the ‘who I am inside’.
So how has this realisation of progress on this journey come about?
A year ago I set out on an adventure to return to my homeland. For a short time or more permanently, I had no idea. I just knew it was time to come home. On the plane journey back to South Africa, I made a deal with the Universe that I would remain open to any and all possibility. That I would Trust in the Universe to guide this homecoming. That I would allow ‘who I am inside’ to show up and connect me to this next chapter.
I have already shared in previous blog posts from 2022 what eventuated from this year of Trust as I showed up openly and authentically in this time of homecoming. In the course of the year, I made so many incredible connections. Beautiful Souls who I have been privileged to meet and spend time with – my anam ċara (soul-friends). In showing up as ‘who I am inside’, I have had this Sunshine side of myself reflected back at me in countless human encounters. These encounters may have been mere moments or the start of lifelong friendship, even reconnection from past life. My heart is so full of gratitude for these genuine connections, especially my besties who have really challenged me in recent weeks to lean into some of my imbalances with kindness and compassion. Thankful for the pure space opened up in the Spirit of Ubuntu. And now also grateful for how I have been able to see myself reflected in this pure space of genuine connection.
‘Who I am inside’ has been quietly showing up along the way even when I thought I had locked her away safe behind the walls of ego. She shows up in my writing more often than my ego would like, I think 😊 In building up the courage to write this piece, I went back and read through previous posts. A few stand out to me now as being quite inspired considering when they were originally written. Linking to them here to add a little more context to this very raw and honest post about the ‘who I am inside’.
2023 is my year of Light and Love, the next steps on my growth journey. To find balance in how I love, but also to embrace the ‘who I am inside’ and finally allow her to Be Loved Just As She Is.
Finding the courage to write and share this has been such an act of vulnerability as well as a renewed commitment to that deal with the Universe – remaining open to any and all possibility.
Do I think I have found my way through the mist to the top of the mountain? No way! But I do know with absolutely certainty that I am on the right track and I will stay true to my path.
I am putting this part of my Story out there in the hope it finds its intended audience. I truly believe my growth journey of trying to make sense of my place in the world is not unique. It is part of the human experience. We are all on our own quest for love and belonging. I sincerely hope these words come across your path if you need them. Please share this post with anyone you sense may need to read these words.
May you find hope, encouragement, inspiration and a peace of spirit for your own journey. May you realise that your ‘who I am inside’ is precious and beautiful and if you let that version of you see the light of day, ‘who I am inside’ will be reflected back at you in all their glory. Pure Love. Just Love.
This is what our sad world needs so desperately – Pure Love. Just Love. 🖤
*I love the word ‘cathartic’. It has the same Ancient Greek origin as my given name – Cathryn – relating to ‘pure’ and ‘clean’. I also love how the meaning in our modern use is connected to emotional release. As a Cancerian (sun, moon and rising sign!) and an Enneagram Type Four I am extremely emotionally driven. This part of my character continues to prove my greatest strength but also my biggest weakness (and growth area). Love 💖& Light ✨