It is only in the last few years of my life that I have felt genuinely happy and comfortable in my own skin. As most of you know 2017 has been a rough year for me the dominant feeling I carried around with me was one of extreme social awkwardness. Which was strange for me, because most people that know me know I’m an outgoing and confident person who got a long with just about anyone. I’m aware that outwardly I was very skillful at presenting a positve and socially pleasing demeanor, while on the inside feeling anxious and exhausted from keeping up that act when inside a piece of me was dying.

If I was angry or frustrated, which I did often, you would never have known it. You would have seen someone who appeared strong, regardless of the circumstances. If I was hurt, let down or disappointed, my lightening reflex was to smile and say , “That’s ok” or “I’m Fine!”

Somewhere along the line I had developed the philosophy that my happiness was dependent on the approval of others. I never really truly sat and thought what I wanted out of life, what truly made me happy until a couple years ago. I found my true self and began to once again blossom into my own person.

The ultimate price I paid was my authenticity, which I now know is fundamental to truly satisfying and fulfilling life. Not only is authenticity vital for your relationships with others, but more importantly for your relationship with yourself. isn’t it funny how the strategies we use to protect ourselves from our deepest fears are often the exact same strategies that manifest our fears into reality?

The more we are willing to love ourselves, in all our messy glory, the less we go searching for happiness in the wrong places. When we are comforted by our own self-love, we no longer need to find comfort through external fixes. Forgiveness is key, start by forgiving yourself for all the times you allowed your ego to block your joy. Understand that the only reason you need to forgive is to restore yourself authentically happy person you are here to be!