So many of us are out of touch with who we really are. We struggle trying to present ourselves as a version that other people will approve of, but who are you really? This blog post focuses on the journey to meet the inner child. The aim? To find your inner self for the first time.
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Why I decided to look for my inner self?
Confronting your true self is not for the faint of heart. It can take you back to the dark places that you’d rather have left forgotten. Nevertheless, it’s the first stop on the journey of self development. Follow my journey and use it as inspiration to find your own inner self.
See, growing up, I was a very overweight child. I would receive negative comments about my weight daily. From family. From friends. There was no place where it was safe. I vividly remember a family event where my grandma very openly insulted my weight in front of other family members. What did I do to deserve this? I simply wanted to know what time dinner was. It truly was a difficult period in my life.
Eventually, after many years, I did lose a considerable amount of weight. On the outside, I looked and felt great. I could get around easier. People were friendlier to me. I should have been happy, right? Unfortunately, on the inside, nothing changed. I still felt empty.
You know the saying ‘Once a fat kid, always a fat kid’? Well, this is absolutely the case for me. To this day, I can’t look at my body in the mirror for too long without feeling a certain level of discomfort. It doesn’t matter how lean I get. No matter how many compliments I receive. All I can see is that fat kid staring right back at me. The honest truth? That fat kid from my childhood hasn’t gone anywhere. He has just locked himself in a cage deep within me. And so, I decided to go on this journey to reconnect with him.
The layers of the inner self
I believe that our concept of self has many layers. To find your inner self, you’re going to have to navigate through these layers. Let’s see what that looks like, using the structure of our planet, the Earth, as an analogy.
We have the outermost layer, the crust. That’s the very surface we walk on every day. You would think that it’s a huge layer, right? Absolutely not. It accounts for less than 1% of the Earth’s volume. However, it’s what every human interacts with daily. I would consider my public persona to be like the crust. It’s a tough layer to get through but gives very little information on who I am at my deepest levels.
Next, you have the mantle. Now we’re getting somewhere. This makes up about 84% of Earth’s volume. This is where you’ll find the persona that your friends and family have access to. It’s where you’re the most comfortable and where your everyday personality lies.
The outer core
Once you get past the hurdle of the first two layers, you’re going to reach the outer core. For us, it’s where the discomfort starts to creep in. At this point, we’re approaching the part of your personality that even you may be unaware of . Your fear of failure. Inability to handle rejection. Co-dependency issues.
The inner core
Finally, we reach our destination, the inner core. This is the deepest locker of our persona, where we can find our inner child. However, reaching them is another difficult task we must face. You see, there are obstacles standing in the way between you and your inner self.
Guards protecting the inner self
I have made several attempts to get to the inner core. None ever being truly successful. I’ve never been able to get through to my innermost self. I’m always stopped by his guards. What are these guards? Well, they are me.
A new guard appears whenever I go through a traumatic experience. Bullying. Rejection. Failure. I can’t even count how many they are. Some lurk in the shadows yet to be named. I don’t know all of them but what I do know is their primary purpose. Protect the true self at all costs.
Many outsiders have tried to get past these guards of mine, unaware of the battle they face. Friends and family? They usually fall to the guards at either the crust or mantle layer where they encounter the public version of myself. They get to see the mask that I put on every day, never able to get to the further in.
The people closest to me get to see a glimpse of the outer core. These chosen few get to see the cracks in the armour, much to my disliking. However, they too fall to one of the guards. The closer they get, the more guards present and the more defensive they become.
But what about me? Where is the furthest that I’ve gotten to? I’ve reached the border of the inner core before. What I saw haunts me to this day. It’s truly uncomfortable to investigate the abyss of your flawed personality. To find the root cause for your toxic behaviours.
Arriving at your inner self
I imagine my inner core as a pure white room. Endless in nature. As I look in from the outside, I see that fat kid from all those years ago, crying in the corner. Just the sight of this is enough to turn me back. The guards at this layer are the emotions surrounding the fat-shaming I went through.
Guilt. I did this to myself. I made myself fat by devouring all that food. Regret. If only I didn’t eat that piece of chocolate last night. Hatred. I hate my body. Fear. No one will ever love me like this. Tackling these guards is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do to myself. I’ve tried several strategies to get through them.
Soothing your inner self
First was the tough love approach. I am not like that anymore. I’ve moved past this. Get over it. I would yell and scream this hoping to get through the guards through to my inner self. I tried this strategy for many years, but it never worked. These emotions were still there in the deepest depths of my soul. Now, I’m taking a new approach. Forgiveness.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”Steve Maraboli
There’s a lot of talk nowadays about forgiving others to move forward. Very few people mention that forgiving ourselves is the first step that must be taken. I truly believe that this is the best course of action to breach the inner core.
I must forgive my past self for all that he felt during those harsh times. These guards are not my enemy. They are only there to protect me. I need to simply walk past them. I will not ignore them though. They are a part of me. So, what I must do is acknowledge every single guard. I will thank them for protecting me. However, their work is done. They can rest easy now.
I tell this story of my journey so that it can inspire you to take the leap to find your inner self. It will be an incredibly difficult journey filled with numerous obstacles. However, the rewards will be far greater than you can ever imagine.
How far have you gotten on the journey to reach your innermost self? Let me know your progress in the comments below
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