How do you get your Self back?
Before we dive in, if you’re in an airplane right now, I want you to look up at the thin skin of metal that is keeping you from being obliterated into particles of the atmosphere. It’s thin, isn’t it?
What keeps all the pressure from the outside from collapsing this thin barrier? The integrity of the pressure inside the plane. That means what is inside the plane must be strong enough to push back against the outside pressure in order to maintain the plane’s shape.
The integrity of the inside must be capable of maintaining a positive pressure in order to not collapse in on itself. You are the plane. Fame is the atmosphere. Managing the pressure of fame comes down to maintaining your interior integrity – your sense of Self, your own energy, your innate wholeness, and your ability to be truly known, seen, and understood.
That’s the goal here. To restore and maintain your internal integrity so you can withstand the external forces. Healing wounds really comes down to changing the way you think, your perspective, your beliefs about your Self, your life, and your capacity to expand, grow, and become more of who you really are.
Let’s get clear on one thing. Once you’re famous, you can’t undo it. Obviously. You can’t control the fact that you are famous. (Well, you could hide out in Bali and wait until people forget about you.) But we’re going to assume here that you are still working, still want to work, and that your work will keep you in the center of fame’s spotlight.
So, nothing we do here is about changing the fact of fame. This is not about running away from it or escaping or hiding. It’s all about changing You in order to reclaim your Self and live a life that feels more spacious, authentic, and self-directed than you do right now. While you are famous. Under the same oppressive weight of fame.
Another definition of integrity is “wholeness.” As in, the sum of all parts. Healing is about accepting our wholeness again. We never stop being whole, we stop feeling whole. Being whole means holding within our sense of Self the light and dark aspects of ourselves. The pain and the joy. The beauty and the ugliness. The power and the vulnerability. Every aspect of who we are.
We are not trying to push out or stop being any aspect of who we are, but trying to find balance so that everything is allowed to exist, but not any one aspect is allowed to control us.
Where do you begin? Start by questioning everything.
The first goal is to dig you out of all the definitions that others have of you. To do that, you have to find out what it is you are thinking and believing about who you are. Because these voices from outside have influenced your perception of yourself, you are, no doubt, at least partially believing some things that are not true about you.
Open a blank document and write down two columns:
- Who they say I am
- Who I really am
Now, write down every response your mind comes up with when you answer them. Everything. From the roles in life you have, to the positive and negative things you call yourself.
Next, go through each response and question each one hard:
- Where did I get this belief?
- Is this true?
- How do I know this is true?
- What would it mean if it was not true about me?
- What is true about me?
Write down what comes up. The answers will quickly open your eyes to what you are believing about yourself and where those original beliefs came from. (We do this same practice when we are looking for limiting beliefs around any subject.)
Take a bit of time to think through each one, but don’t start wallowing in the ones that trigger you and make you sink into self-rejection. The goal is to see what you are believing.
Next, realize that you have the power and authority to decide which of these things you will choose to believe and you can stop believing the things that are NOT true about you.
You see, the only reason any of these beliefs have any power to make you feel bad is because you believe they are true or you feel powerless to make others stop believing what isn’t true about you.
The turning point in reclaiming your Self comes when you take back your innate power to define your Self, and let your Self matter as much as you allow other people to matter.
To reclaim your Self, you have to give your Self authority. To do that, you need to go back in time to around the age when you were eight or so. Who were you then? Looking back, how would you describe who you were then? What were your truths about your Self back then? If eight doesn’t resonate for you, think back to the last time you really felt free to be you, that you were in charge of your life.
Look for those same truths in you now. How would you describe your truths now? If you were transported to a country where no one knew you by fame, how would you describe who you are to someone there?
What have you hidden in the dark that is craving the light’s warmth? What did you stop believing about your Self because everyone else denied it to be true or disallowed you from being that? All of these lost, broken, missing pieces of you are all still You. They are not gone, love. They are in you. They need you to gently notice them and make them matter again.
I know this brings up a lot of emotion.
And it’s okay if this exercise moves you to tears. Let yourself cry it out. Don’t be afraid of what comes up. This is the beginning of reclaiming your Self and feeling compassion for the tender, sweet, open, kind, trusting, courageous, bold, daring, tenacious, sensitive self that you are is where you begin.