Finding Personal Power through Letting Go of Old Narratives

Finding Personal Power through Letting Go of Old Narratives

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When you find yourself questioning what you once saw as the “right” way of living, and determine that it no longer meshes with how you feel and experience the world, what do you do? 

One option is to take the brave step towards deconstructing your life and examining it, one precious piece at a time.

To discover and break down barriers is a frightening concept to face, but I can say that being willing to face my fears of losing my identity and belonging in religion has brought me so much richness on the other side.

After years in a community of faith, I found myself questioning the cultural norms that I had accepted for so long.

Questions arose as I became aware of my inner spirit coming into conflict with what I saw being lived out around me. I eventually allowed myself to claim my own voice, and what was once a tender topic gradually became a tool for self-empowerment. 

If you’re on the path of evaluating your faith, or cultural norms, take a moment to pause and look around at your community, at the messages you view in social media, at your inner dialogue, and ask yourself: 

 

Am I clinging to things

and people that don’t serve me?

Have I become too comfortable

with things that are unhealthy?

 

—What do I need to let go of?—

 

Sometimes we need to take a look inward in order to allow ourselves to discover who we truly are. 

 

This is not a topic limited to Christianity or Religion, but simply a larger question of what it means to be willing to let go of parts of your identity or community when they no longer feel safe or supportive.  

Whether you’re already on your own path through deconstruction, or you have come through to the other side after facing some tough questions, I hope you’ll find some encouragement in My Conversation with Kristen Lohr or in my story about leaving Evangelical Christianity. 



In the spirit of self-trust,

The Soul Aligned Morning is a meditation I created in support of becoming quiet and trusting and valuing your inner voice. 



My RAW STORY

WARNING!! PERSONAL POST AHEAD!!

Three years ago I was a college senior and a newlywed. I had a picture perfect life. I was vibrant and confident and knew who I was.  At least from the outside it seemed that way. If someone had peeked into my soul, what they would have really seen was fear, unworthiness, and a deep sense of shame, not for what I had done in my past, but literally for who I was.

If you had spent 5 minutes with me you may have left thinking I was funny, honest, and bold for being so sincerely myself. If you spent a few days with me you would realize that I was ashamed of my personality and was living with a lot of social anxiety.

June 2011 working with a church in mexico,  living in need of approval and deep shame for my personality

June 2011 working with a church in mexico,  living in need of approval and deep shame for my personality

I used vulnerability to keep people from knowing who I really was. By being overly open about my life and my "issues" I would keep people at an emotional distance. I used religion to feel like I had finally achieved a sense of peace and order in my life. I belonged, I was living the "right" way, I had approval through my good actions.  I used relationships to fill the deep sense of unworthiness by collecting many acquaintances but no deep friendships. 

 "If they laugh I am enough. If they think I am amazing, I am enough. If they think I'm pretty I am enough. If they think I'm interesting, smart, talented, I am enough.”

Scary, right?! I was living through other's opinions of myself. And if someone had a wavering opinion of me, I crumbled. I did not know how to be confident in my own skin. I was certainly not proud of who I was. 

December 2013, graduating college with no plans, afraid of my future, and struggling to find my voice

December 2013, graduating college with no plans, afraid of my future, and struggling to find my voice

I share this with you because I know that my story, although unique in many ways, is not unique in the struggles.  Many of you, too, are overcoming the same fears, shame, and pain.  I want you to know you can overcome. I want you to know you can truly thrive.

Today I am still funny, vulnerable, and bold. It is the real, authentic me, and I am owning it. But, something changed in me the past 3 years that is obvious to anyone who knows me.

The frantic anxiety leaving the house to go to an event has if not completely gone away, almost never happens. The people who I felt the deepest shame around no longer have a strong place in my inner circle, and I am stronger than I ever have been. I am healthier in my marriage and I have healthy boundaries.  Plus as a bonus, I actually love people, and have given up controlling them and judging them.

I still struggle like any normal human, but I want to share my journey with you. It can be easy to assume the road was easy, or that there wasn't a road at all. But the road was freaking hard. It meant facing who I was. What I was doing to hide who I was, and learning for the first time to be truly vulnerable with the people I could trust most. It meant overhauling friend groups and forgiving my parents. It meant forgiving myself and forgiving God. It meant letting go of the religious legalism that kept me safe and embracing the uncertainty in my faith journey.

June 2015 in nyc for the beautiful you life coaching inspiration day. healthy, passionate, confident. 

June 2015 in nyc for the beautiful you life coaching inspiration day. healthy, passionate, confident. 

It means moving forward. It means deciding who you want to be and taking action steps to get there. I went into 2014 with the mantra, "this is a year of freedom." And it was. I continue that tradition every year and revise my goals with my life coach quarterly. Today, set yourself an intention for this upcoming year. You don't have to wait until January! Do it today.

Who do you want to be in one year?

How do you want to feel every day?

What isn't working?

What needs to shift to make room for this vision?

Ask yourself these questions and really dig deep. Life is a gift, but it is yours to cultivate. Get to it my love. All that is waiting is your YES.


I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Leave a comment below or share on Facebook.

You never know who needs to hear your story of strength.