All The Ways I've Tried To Heal And Find Myself
Some three years ago, as I was dutifully reminded by Facebook's On This Day feature, I posted these cryptic Andersonian images on my personal page, in lieu of what my heart and soul was truly feeling.
Funnily enough, the reminder came at a time when I was to embark on a conscious journey of healing, yet again! I say conscious because I intended it to be a more purposeful journey to really get into the deepest of myself, to face the sadness, grief, anger, or whatever emotion I was feeling, not to dwell, but ultimately, to understand, accept, and create goodness from it.
And while I can't say for now that my journey is complete, I am happy to say that I have taken significant steps forward, and in so far as it was emotional and painful, it turned out to be quite a fun ride, after all. Allow me to share with you what I have been doing to get by, with a little help from my friends and family, of course.
You may remember the time I wrote about serendipity and my friend Micah before. I am, by the way, a firm believer of serendipitous encounters, as many of my life friends have been made that way. Being an energy healer and a light worker, Micah sent my late dad a distant healing when he was sick, and eventually, after my dad passed away, she recommended me for reiki healing, too.
At that point in my life when I finally realized that I can't simply Google "how to grieve" or "how to find peace", I was open to receive any kind of help. Our session was a heartfelt one, and honestly opened my consciousness to truths I never really paid attention to before.
In summary, Micah took a look at my energy channels, defined the blockages (which, by the way, if unattended to, can manifest into physical pain), and gave me advice on how to manage it. And I could sum it up in one powerful word: release.
From old emotions to creative pursuits, I must let it all out. It made me realize how I grew up always trying to be calm and all right (or pa-strong, as one of my friends put it, LOL), and have gotten used to simply ignoring the hurts. I used to get by the every day with a tough front, but with my deepest concerns pushed back and forgotten. Looking back brought me to the resolution that I have to be honest about my pain and show it to the world, no matter what, because that is the only way I can overcome it, and maybe even allow others to help me, and ultimately, heal.
A STRENGTHS TEST
As with serendipitous friends, creatives Ivy and Chiara, whom I've spoken with recently, have, on different occasions, recommended me the world-famous Clifton Strengths finder. And lo and behold, it turned out to be the self-assessment test that made me feel that I am loved for who I am! Reading through my results felt like it was thanking me for being me, like it was hugging me, telling me "you are doing well".
The psychology behind this test is all about building on your inherent strengths, instead of wasting time trying to get better at what you aren't meant to be great at. To those who have taken it, my top five strengths are Input, Adaptability, Deliberative, Ideation, and Strategic. If I may add, I'm also an INTP and a Type 4. It would be fun if you can tell me yours, too!
And what does this have to do with healing? Personally, it's a way to get to know myself more and find out how else I can nurture myself—as in the real me, the core me. What I love about this is that the results come with action points that guided me on the habits I needed to create to maximize my strengths, and how I can contribute to and collaborate with others as well. On the whole, it gave me direction on how I can channel my energies into things that feed my soul.
At this point, I'd like to credit Google for finally presenting me with substantial answers. So I typed "questions to know yourself better" and found a variety of lists, which I decided to answer in my quiet time, and on a full stomach. I'll share with you a few good ones (taken from a website called Prolific Living) that have really made me look into myself:
Answering these existential questions with deep concentration, I felt myself coming back to my raison d'être and was given clarity on my purpose, on how and why I am who I am and why I do what I do and all that jazz.
I don't know about you but being down and feeling blue sometimes leaves me wanting to lay in bed all week, do nothing, and let life pass me by. Although thankfully, I come to my senses quickly and realize I have to live my best life. So instead of wallowing in nothingness, I learned, at least I must do something. Eating fries more than once a week, binge-watching shows on afternoons on end, prioritizing friend meet-ups over an overdue to-do list, listening and singing to Heart Evangelista's feel-good '00s hit, Love Has Come My Way—pick your poison.
On one hand it's procrastinating, but on the other hand, it's acknowledging my need for other things, too. I needed to give myself some breathing room, allow a little crazy, rekindle with what makes my heart flutter, do seemingly mundane things—even when I'm not really seeing the point of doing all these, at least for now. It may sound petty, but even finding the time to paint my nails brought me joy I cannot describe. It definitely felt like a return to my truest self.
As I have been told by my well-meaning friends, I should give myself time and not be guilty for it. In fact, too much self-indulgence, I learned, was also what would lead to my wake up call, fortunately for me. At one point, it finally dawned on me that I didn't want to get used to eating unhealthily, nor did I want to get sucked into K-dramaland and be lost in there forever. Eventually, my giving in to my cravings resulted in myself finding the motivation to form new and better habits. Little by little, I began picking myself up.
As I have mentioned, Input is one of my strengths, which essentially means I like consuming information. Back in college when I was confused on whether I liked the fashion world or the film world more, fashion documentaries came to the rescue. It married both my interests.
To be honest, at one point I had switched entirely to K-dramas and sort of forgot about the magic of fashion documentaries. But thanks to serendipity and finding the encouragement through the strengths exam, I have acquired a whole new set of fashion films to watch, one of which was Mademoiselle C.
And, well, as you may have guessed, I was inspired to my bones, not because I am quite a bony human, or that I consider Carine Roitfeld my life hero per se, but because of her undying spirit. She took a risk, not because she could, but because it was exactly what she wanted to do. The long and winding process of building the first issue of her magazine was music to her ears.
For the longest time since the recent events in my life happened, I felt lost and needed a sense of purpose. We do feel a bit lost at one point in our lives, right, but I must say this was the time I mostly found myself struggling to find the answers on why I'm doing what I'm doing.
But Mademoiselle C's story, among other things, saved me. Ultimately, the driving force behind Carine's creation of the CR Fashion Book was a reminder for me to keep going, following my heart, and ultimately, to go back to why I introduced the world to Tita Pacita in the first place.
How about you? Was there ever a point in your life when you felt lost, or that you have lost yourself? I look forward to reading all about your healing stories in the comments section!
Cover photo by Jayson Soriano, shot at The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan.