I tried to belong because I wanted to fit in, and perhaps you tried to fit in, too.
Fit into what?
Social acceptance. Peer acceptance. Parental acceptance.
We were trying in myriad ways to gain acceptance from the outside because we did not fully know who we were from the inside.
We may have tried to get good grades in school, or to look a certain way. But no matter what we tried, that sense of belonging was based on something outside of us rather than on who we were within.
You and I had talents and gifts that might have been stifled or honored. But no matter how much we were applauded or scolded, our search for inner knowing was stunted during these years—because we could not identify with soul wisdom on the outside. And I am sure you will agree that we could rarely talk about it to those in our lives at that time.
How were we supposed to know ourselves during our preteen years? By our surroundings and how we felt in our environment. During those years of inner innocence, we only knew if we felt safe and honored, or unsafe and dishonored.
Our achievements may have been wonderful or paltry—but we were never taught to honor our own authentic power. We were taught to give it away. And we were taught to measure our worth by the grades we received, the way we looked, the ribbons we won, or whether we obeyed our parents. Our worth was all conditional.
So we were conditioned to tiptoe around outer conditions to get a greater sense of who we were, and our golden moments were when we received outer approval or validation.
Our most treacherous moments occurred when we forsook our own identity or truth to gain acceptance from the outside. These betrayals remained within our cellular memories for quite a number of years.
We learned adaptation. But we never learned self-honor. We learned to listen to everyone other than ourselves.
We learned to obey what others said as opposed to what was true for us. We watched TV and saw values portrayed that were the opposite of our reality. We longed for what was on TV, where the children were honored. Were you honored? At times I was, and at times I wasn’t. Like me, you learned to adapt to a constant sea of conditioned responses in order to feel safe, secure, accepted, and honored.
You may have been honored for certain behaviors that to this day you call your strengths. You may have been dishonored for other behaviors, and you may still be grappling with how to grow beyond whatever part of yourself you have disowned.
It is vital for you to remember that we incarnated into this life to be all we came here to be. You do have a purpose, and yet during your preteen years you might never have been honored for your true inner gifts. You may have learned to stifle your greatest talents and attributes in order to keep the adults in your life feeling secure with the limited wisdom they may have had about you. Many adults might have felt threatened by your special traits. Perhaps they didn’t know how to relate to you. Years ago, many people believed that children were at their best when they were quiet. It was said that children should be seen but not heard. As a result, few of us were taught to speak out and rock the boat! Few of us were taught to prepare for a life in which self-sufficiency, creativity, spiritual gifts, independence, and self-expression would be honored.
We were told to believe in the Cinderella theory, and to validate our worth from the outside in—and that alone has taken decades of pain to overcome. You may not have overcome it yet—but you are about to.
Were you praised for being the real you when you were a preteen? I would venture to say you were praised for listening, or obeying, and perhaps for a talent or two that your family liked to see.
If you belong to the vast majority of women who were raised to believe in everything other than the core of who they are, you most likely find it quite difficult to learn how to know yourself when you were mostly praised for obeying others.
This is the hallmark of forgetfulness among women. You forgot who you were while you were busy looking for ways to gain acceptance from those around you. Your wise soul could not relate to those people and circumstances, and perhaps you had few if any people you could share your truest feelings with—so they, too, became lost.
How can you know yourself when you can’t talk about your innermost feelings with the people around you?
How can you know yourself when you are held to a standard of acceptance based solely on your observed actions or performance? Did anyone ever ask you to honor the wisdom of your soul?
I doubt that they did—because they had also forgotten the wisdom of their own souls as they played out the roles taught to them based on the morals and beliefs of the society in which they were raised.
Many of us were not raised in a society that appreciated lightworkers. They are people (and you may be one of them) with spiritual gifts who openly share and express those gifts in order to help others awaken and evolve in our world. Many times their spiritual gifts are not openly received, and they are negatively labeled as “New Age fruitcakes.” You may be a highly evolved soul stifled in a spiritual closet. You may have wisdom within you that is so vast. And at the same time you may have next to nobody with whom you can relate or share, nobody you can even learn from.
This book is in your hands because you want to reclaim your radiance. You want glowing confidence.
Everything you want is everything you’ve already got on the inside. I take you on this journey through your life so you can see why you may not feel so radiant or whole or confident.
It is because the confidence you had when you were born was largely squelched during your younger years, and in your preteen years your inner radiance was based on whether you received approval from others.
How radiant do you expect to feel when you seek approval from others? The more approval you need, the more deeply you have buried your true self.
The more invalidated you feel, the more status you seek in society. The more you lack trust, the more you try to control the outcome of events in your life. By “trust,” I mean going with the flow, knowing that your highest good is always taken care of with divine guidance from the angelic realm and God, or whatever you believe is the highest source of pure love and wisdom in the universe, the source that is always present to assist you unconditionally in every moment of your life.
© Copyright 2006 by Barbara Rose, PhD All Rights Reserved. Chapter excerpt reprinted with permission from the book Know Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Wholeness, Radiance & Supreme Confidence. (Rose Group ,January 2006) ISBN: 0974145734