The Trials and Triumphs of Turning 30!

Thank you for bearing witness to this reflection on my past and my commitment to stepping into my power and greatness as I step into being 30!

(FB live on the topic is at the bottom of the page, but the blog is different and more concise in a lot of ways, so worth the read!)

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I turn 30 tomorrow and though for many of you, this birthday has come and past and no longer feels significant, for me, turning thirty represents a major turning point in my life. As I step into this new decade, I am acknowledging this moment of stepping into a new, more authentic and more holistic version of me with gratitude and reflecting on all the lessons and wisdom that I am taking with me, hard won from a great many trials and mistakes.

Thinking about the main trials and triumphs of my life so far makes me realize just how far I have come in just the past 10 years. It also makes me realize that it was my trials, my darkest nights of the soul, that have allowed me the opportunity to have any triumphs at all. My trials are the groundwork, the foundation of my triumphs.

For most of my late teens and early twenties, I was in the dark.

There has always been light in my life, but during that time I did not choose to see it.

I chose to identify myself based off my flaws and shortcomings instead of identifying myself based off the unconditional, infinite, loving core that we all share. That is one MASSIVE SHIFT!

Living in the constant fear that you don’t belong, that you have no value or power, that you are not worthy of love or acceptance, that you are really a monster and one day someone is going to find out, is paralyzing and it is so…very…lonely.

Living in that constant fear puts you in survival mode and we create an identity for ourselves based on how we believe we can best survive.

For me, I created a survival identity that was small and powerless and invisible. I would pop up here and there, to try to be helpful and supportive of others, but always in small ways, never in big ones. I would poor out the love in my heart to anyone who would lap it up, but I was too afraid to be with someone who could fully love me back, because that would involve being seen, and accepting love that I did not believe that I deserved. I hid behind mask after mask, trying to be who I perceived everyone else wanted me to be, changing masks moment to moment and trying to keep track of them all.

My heart broke again and again, not because my lovers and friends broke it, but because I had allowed it to weaken over the years by starving it of love.

I couldn’t allow other people’s love into the deep parts of my heart, because I did not love myself.

When we don’t love ourselves, it is as if the deepest part of our heart, the seed of our soul, our child self, goes into hiding, it gets locked away. That is part of survival mode. That seed of our soul hides away so it can be safe for a time and so it doesn’t break when our heart does. It hides away to try and give us as much of a chance and as much time to learn to love ourselves as possible, before we give up entirely.

Luckily, at 19 years old, I had a trial that brought me to a point where I couldn’t handle any more pain. I had to make that choice to live or not. Not to survive or not… to Live or not. Surviving in that amount of pain, loneliness and despair was not an option anymore. That decision to LIVE, really live, is the foundation that the rest of my life rests upon.

That first dark night of the soul trial, gave me the determination to learn from each future mistake and slowly figure out how to love myself, how to find connection to others, how to know my own value and worthiness, and how to stand in my power.  

I have always had a little voice inside of me, even in the toughest times that whispered,

“You are meant for greatness! You are special and magical, and you are meant to be MORE than you are now!”

Deciding, even for just a moment, to listen to that voice gave me to courage to reach out to a counselor for help. To be honest, that counselor wasn’t that much help, but the decision to stand up for myself and seek out help was the most important thing.

Over the course of my 20’s, I continued to make a lot of mistakes and put myself through a lot of trials, and each gave me more information about my true nature.

I did a lot of starting over from scratch (new location, no job, no money) and through those adventures, I learned about my own strength and resilience. I learned humility from the number of times I needed to ask for help. I learned that I am resourceful and that I don’t give up easily. I learned that most people are kind and that I have a lot of offer in return for kindness.  

I did a lot of searching for love in co-dependent relationship after co-dependent relationship and learned that Love, from other people, is not enough when you don’t love yourself. I learned the hard way that…

Depending on someone else for your happiness puts that person in energetic chains that they cannot see but, on a deep level, desperately long to escape and that this is a burden no one can bare for long.

These relationships taught me that I was responsible for my own reality and I decided that I was going to take responsibility for my own happiness.

I did a lot of following my intuition from job to job, place to place, from person to person, and I learned that my intuition always leads me to the most interesting situations, the most profound lessons and ALWAYS requires that I face my fears!

 

Eventually, I met my husband and I was back to facing my biggest fear. The fear that I was not worthy of love.

I had decided to not repeat old relationship patterns! I knew that I had to choose to learn to love myself if I wanted to break my cycle of co-dependency and make our relationship work. I had to allow that self-love to nourish my heart and unlock the seed of my soul before I could fully accept the love he wanted to give me.

So, I practiced finding compassion for myself. Empathy for myself. I did the work and I asked my husband to keep me accountable for doing that work.

I committed to meditating daily. I started to see and feel glimpses of my true nature (of infinite love, potential and connection), and began to allow the garments of identity that I had gathered over the years to fall away in those moments. Meditation gave me that basic understanding of oneness and through that understanding I began to extend compassion and forgiveness to people in my life who had hurt me.

As I began to forgive them, I started to understand that, although I had released much of the anger I was holding in my heart towards others, I was still angry at myself. I was angry at myself for all the times in my life that I didn’t love or care for myself, that I didn’t stick up for myself and that I allowed myself to be hurt. I began to visualize meetings with my child self, my teen self, my 20 something self, my future self, my negative self……all the “selves”…. and, I forgave myself and healed myself and extended that offering of love to all the selves that I had neglected and turned aside from over the years.

I accepted all the parts of myself that I had once labeled as “flaws” and began using them as my strengths. Most notably, I accepted my emotional nature and began using the emotions that I had once labeled as “weaknesses”, to strengthen my insight into myself and to clarify and strengthen my communication in a deeply vulnerable and authentic way. Starting first with my husband and then extending that authentic communication practice to a wider circle of people.

Eventually I created a system around my inner work, a method that simplified my internal questioning and self-discovery and made it routine part of my daily life.

Now, as I step into 30 and all the new opportunities that this decade has to offer, I want to share that method with others. I want to guide and support people on their journey towards self-love, self-empowerment, self-knowledge, authentic communication and mindfulness. I want to help people learn to listen to their own inner wisdom and that little voice that whispers that they are MORE; more full of love, more powerful, more limitless, more vibrant, more healthy and happy and FREE than they are allowing themselves to be a the moment.   

So this year, you will be seeing MORE of me and hearing MORE of me because I am committing to expansion and I am breaking free from my “being small” identity! My new identity is all about love without limits and I am excited to share THAT with the world!

Leaving you with love as always, catch you next time!

 

Ana