Learning to be the real me

These days social media, magazines and television shows all offer tips and advice on how women can improve their self-worth and feel more empowered. There is much talk about using strategies such as diet, exercise, mindfulness, undertaking a study course to improve career prospects and so forth, as possible solutions to a problem that seems to be entrenched and in plague proportions worldwide.

Most of us can relate to having frequent moments of self-doubt where we fear that something we say or do will be criticised or judged as not good enough. We want to avoid any feelings of shame or humiliation that seem ever ready to strike and so our pride drives us to anxiously look for ways to appear confident and like we are in control. It’s quite common to end up doing things that we don’t really want to do and behaving the way others around us expect – whether that be through submission, withdrawal, aggression, or complete rebellion. But the end result is that we are still left feeling lonely, misunderstood and like we are caught in a cycle where old patterns keep repeating themselves.

For most of my life I felt like an ‘outsider’ and as though I didn’t really fit in. Yes, I had family and friends around me and a successful career, but the whole time I felt like I was a chameleon and adjusted my attitude and behaviour according to who I was with and what was happening at the time. I knew I was a kind, caring person and would not knowingly hurt another person. In fact, I did everything I could to help others and be there for them if I felt I could support them in some way. I valued honesty, social justice and human decency and respect for others and had a strong work ethic. This all sounds like a recipe for a successful life, but why then did I lack self-confidence and a sense of self-worth?

"A woman in livingness holds the decency, respect & the value of her body, and the honouring that who she is first and foremost is precious. From there, working hard does not mean a woman has to be hard – endless production with no compromise on her inner quality"

Natalie Benhayon Women in Livingness presentation, July 2017

Even when there were those fleeting moments where something went well, I would be dismissive, quickly moving on because spending time on self-appreciation was seen as an indulgence. Needless to say, in the blink of an eye I’d find myself back on the self-doubt travellator and if anything, feeling I needed to try even harder to prove myself to the outside world. All of this left me very mentally driven and wrapped tightly in a blanket of hardness and perfectionism, always seeking to better myself, yet on the inside my heart was aching and I had a longing to understand what was going on. Surely there was more to life than this; the going through the motions type of existence that I and everyone around me appeared to be living?

I thought I took good care of myself because I exercised and ate a healthy diet, drank alcohol mostly in moderation and didn’t smoke or take/use drugs and didn’t have any major health problems. Yet the discontent remained as real as ever, even as the years passed. I couldn’t work out why I had a low sense of self-confidence and self-loathing pervading every cell in my body. Here I was a seemingly intelligent, successful woman and yet the answers remained as elusive as ever. My sense of myself as a woman was minimal beyond the functionality of being in a female body and my level of presence with my body was minimal unless there was an ache or a pain and then the aim was to get rid of the symptoms as quickly as possible. It never entered my mind that my body was actually speaking very loudly to me and that it was key to understanding myself in the level of detail I was seeking.

"Real confidence – a moment where you are in your body more than at any other time is known as the quality of presence. Confirming that presence, and giving it permission to be, express and act, is what real confidence is all about. It is the presence that brings true confidence, for it is all of you being all of you. "

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume II, ed 1, p 9

In later years I began attending presentations by Serge Benhayon and Natalie Benhayon from Universal Medicine and both these people have had a profound impact on my life. I started to realise that I was reacting to life, rather than embracing and living in its flow. By this I mean that I was living in the complexity of life, fighting hard to try and control it and becoming angry and reactive when things didn’t go to plan. My pride and arrogance blocked me from considering that the answer might be much simpler than imagined and that a practical guide to living with a real sense of self-worth and confidence may be right there inside me – and indeed inside each and every one of us.

I observed the way Natalie moved and spoke and found here was a woman who was undoubtedly willing to live life outside what would normally be considered the ‘safe zone’ for a woman. She expressed with humour and joy, yet there was no doubting that she didn’t shy away from speaking the truth, even in the face of reaction from others. Her movements reflected a delicacy and strength that I’ve never come across in a woman before. Natalie’s care, love and appreciation of her body as a sacred vessel was uncompromising. I was both fascinated and daunted at the same time with what I was feeling and witnessing. Natalie portrayed everything in her being-ness that I knew I was seeking, yet I felt so far removed from that within myself, I initially couldn’t fathom how I could possibly get myself on the same pathway.

Yet, with a willingness to finding a different way of being, I set to work to change my relationship with myself. I began to take small steps towards taking better care of myself and in the beginning it seemed awkward and challenging to feel what was happening in my body. While I easily accepted that I was responsible for my choices, for a long time I just wanted the situation fixed and things all sorted ‘once and for all’. I can laugh at myself now as looking back I can see that I was wanting a quick and easy solution to my problem, but I gradually came to realise that it’s a continuous inward journey and is never something that can be sourced through the outside world.

Now, several years later, I can honestly say that my dedication and commitment to developing my self-connection has paid off beautifully and in ways I could never have imagined. My sense of self-worth and levels of self-confidence have risen considerably. What I love is that I have lost much of the hard shell that I used as a form of protection and can now feel my delicacy and preciousness within me and don’t feel the need to hide this from others. I’m growing in self-love and appreciation every day and honouring my body is now second nature. My body offers me so much wisdom about myself and the world and deserves to be treated in a tender, loving fashion. When I stop and connect with my body I can feel a simplicity that offers a stillness within my next steps. How I live now is incomparable to my previous way of life. What I feel within and about myself gives me the confidence to be that person out in the world. I’ve discovered many qualities that were previously buried from sight and as I’m learning to claim these more and more, I feel the beauty, authority and strength that is uniquely ‘me’. It’s also been lovely to witness many other women from all walks of life taking like steps with similar outcomes.

Our bodies are our very own handbook to mental, physical, and soulful health and wellbeing. Let’s take the time to stop the external searching and attachment to all the images we have absorbed along the way, and instead allow ourselves to connect to our bodies and from the stillness that resides within, learn to enjoy and express all the unique qualities we discover along the way. As we move in that energy, our sense of self-worth naturally builds and flows as we are truly being and bringing our ‘all’ to each and every moment.

I, along with many other women I know, am grateful that Natalie Benhayon has led the way and showed us that we have nothing to fear and everything to gain when we let go of all the ideals, beliefs and pictures about who and how we should be and instead step confidently out from the shadows knowing our real worth.

"The natural essence of the flower is to bring itself out in full. So too is our ability to heal. It is our natural essence to come out in full and be who we truly are."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric & Exoteric Philosophy, ed 1, p 24

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  • By Helen Giles, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, MMH (Family Therapy), Post Grad Cert Family Therapy & Counselling, M. EPA Recognised

    I love that life is amazing with every relationship offering constant drops of pure gold, whether that be in my work as a perinatal counsellor or through friends, family and others I meet in everyday life.

  • Photography: Matt Paul