On a tiny Caribbean island, I learned to unleash my light. It is one of many islands; quiet, beautiful, laid back. An untouched gem. In a world of high rises and fast developments, it is a refreshing step into a charm and serenity associated with the past. On that tiny 11 square mile island, the vessel that kept my authenticity imprisoned was not just broken but crushed with no chance for repair. Out of that brokenness, my authenticity flowed and on an island nestled in laps of the Caribbean sea, I made my greatest discovery. I discovered who I am.
Let me try to compress this story. When my marriage fell apart, the tiny community that I lived in tore me apart with lies, half-truths and the imagination of what seemed to be a very bored and disgruntled people. The island had just over 3000 people and I was a stranger in the midst. Somehow, that translated to many residents that I was a threat. As a stranger, I automatically was classed a liar and branded the one at fault in the entire divorce fiasco. If anyone asked if I was ok, it was not out of concern, but an effort to glean fodder for the gossip mills. I had no friends or family there. I was lonely, depressed and rejected. The gossip and actions of the residents were horrendous and I felt crushed. No, that is not quite true. They did not just seek to crush me but they grounded the pieces beneath society’s feet. They complained incessantly to my boss that I was not doing a good job in an attempt to have me fired, left me stranded at the roadside in the rain and the list goes on. I was even stripped of the positions I held at church.
I was so devastated that I refused to leave my house unless absolutely necessary. I hid physically and emotionally. I refused to let anyone into my space. I was petrified that they would only seek more ways to hurt me. I declined all Facebook friend requests. I made no friends and lost the few I had. I was that afraid of anyone knowing anything about me.
I saw no light in me and felt myself shriveling.
Then, something shifted. An individual offered me a hand in my darkness and a space to let the remnants of the person I used to be melt away. I wept tears of bitterness, frustration, anger, and uncertainty. I did not know who I was nor where I was going.
That old vessel was easy to break. It was not who I truly was. It was who I pretended to be so that I would survive so that I would be loved and accepted. That broken person was the mask I wore because I thought the true me was not good enough. My voice had been silenced and my identity was fluid depending on the environment. I walked bowed beneath the many masks I wore with the hope that if I wore the right mask, became the right person, I would be loved and accepted. When those masks were crushed, I was left bereft and floundering not knowing who I was and what value I could contribute to this life.
But something in me refused to die. The pretended version had died but something else thrived. What I thought was the breaking of my soul was actually the breaking of the masks I wore. All that was left was a raw unexplored authentic me.
With fear and very timidly, I decided to acquaint myself with this part of me that I had kept hidden. And so I started a miraculous journey of unleashing my light. On that journey, I have learned
1. The value of my moments (taking time for myself)
2. How to stand on top of fear and worry (they steal your light)
3. To hug my freedom tightly (letting go)
4. How to stop wearing the masks of others and live my dreams
5. How to stop self-abandonment
6. How to celebrate the best in me
7. How to ensure that the picture of my life is complete when I die.
Though life may have beaten you and broken you a million times, it is never too late to unleash your light. Your light deserves to be released, appreciated and valued. Take a chance on yourself and tap into your authenticity ….. Unleash!