People make the world go round. Rather, connection with people does.
I believe we are all longing, searching and dreaming for intimate connection – something that makes us feel like we are seen, heard and acknowledged exactly as we are.  But the truth of it is, that people will only see you, as much as you allow them, and want them to see.
People will come and go from your life, but the one relationship that will endure forever, is the one with yourself.  Sounds cheesy, I know, but you can’t escape the truth sometimes.
So this is what I have learnt so far from my own developing relationship with myself.
I grew up with lies and deceit from a young age.
Well meaning adults tell you offhandedly that you’re wrong, stupid, should be seen not heard.  And a young sponge-like girl as myself starts to believe them.  And the problem with hearing things outside of yourself becomes this – that you start to manipulate and shape them into beliefs and thoughts that sound like they’re your own.  Here begins the journey of truth into lies and deceit.
The more lies you tell yourself, the more you start to change and shape your behaviours to match. My thoughts around not being good enough, pretty enough, and/or smart enough actually impacted the way I interacted with others, the sorts of jobs I went after, the income I felt I deserved.  And not only was I deceiving myself, and robbing myself of the gift of loving and appreciating who I was, who I could become, and who I wanted to be – I was also denying those around me the joy of knowing the true and authentic version of me.
For what is the true and authentic version of me anyway?  I danced around it for so long, that it took me a long time, lots of tears, loads of money spent on self development and introspection, lost opportunities and failed relationships to realise that it was at my fingertips all along – just waiting to be allowed a voice.
The authentic me is the one that is flawed in so many ways, that I have to laugh.  I don’t have it all together, I’m not perfect by any means, I’m not model-like in looks, my nose is bigger than I’d like, I snort sometimes when I laugh, I don’t always exercise or eat the way I want to, and I cry in sad, and sometimes funny movies. Go figure.
The most random comment I heard once was that the most strength comes in being vulnerable.  It’s how I live my life now, and I truly think that it promotes an authenticity and truth about me that shines for others to witness and connect with.  I come from a place of internal joy and happiness, and I deeply appreciate and love my flaws, rather than hiding them, pushing them down or ignoring them. It allows relationships to blossom, love to deepen, and life to feel amazing and worthwhile.
And isn’t that what life is all about?
© copyright IKON IMAGES 2016
Andrea Dix
The Joy Coach
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