Unbecoming: The Rebuilding of Self

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. ~Paul Coelho

This is the story of me. My journey.

Not of who I have become, but who I am unbecoming. What I am unlearning as I rebuild Who I Am.

I’ve been a very functional human being doing the things I was told to do, the things I was sold as life. But I wasn’t living, I was surviving. I was a shadow of myself, hiding in the dark, masquerading around as a three dimensional being. I used this body as a machine with its parts serving their purpose – a brain to strategize, hands to create, feet to climb mountains, a heart to pump blood. I never really allowed myself to feel. To be. From a very early age, my life taught me that those you were supposed to depend on were not reliable and everything and everyone went away.

Life was about doing. Working hard. Earning degrees. Making lots of money. Getting married. Having kids. I was taught that life is a formula. If you follow that formula you achieve this thing called success. Success, to be better than anyone else, was what mattered. These were functional duties without emotion. The primary emotion shown to me was fear and all its variants – anger, frustration, judgement, annoyance, jealousy, hate, spite. I was shown that these were the fuel to keep the light bright, burning through, around and beyond. Burn it down and as long as you remain standing, you have won.

I am a good student. The formula kept me playing the game of life I had been taught, and in doing so I was surviving. It kept me numb, nimble and adaptable. I was full of fire and that fire propelled me forward.

I achieved that thing called success – multiple degrees, marriage, healthy body, salary in the triple digits with the first digit greater than the number one – but I felt dark, heavy, and defeated. Stemming from early childhood, I suffered from clinical depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for nearly 40 years. 

No one told me that this kind of success did not equate to happiness. The depression and anxiety only grew stronger.

My soul, my heart – they were calling out, begging to be heard and felt. Feeling was scary and so I took the societal pill to numb all feeling and ignore everything just like I had been told to do my whole life. Keep the skeletons in the closet, have another glass of wine, pop a pill and put a smile on your face. Be a team player. 

And then she came, my little one, this being of light that knew her boundaries and what kind of mother she deserved. II hadn’t asked for her, and in fact, I was terrified but it was clear she had chosen me and I had made this pact with her before we incarnated on Earth. She was my first true teacher, guide, healer and she forced me to step up and upgrade myself to be the person that not only she needed to guide her through life, but that I needed to be for myself. Suddenly I began to feel and a floodgate to my past, my ancestors and my true self opened before me.

My little one came in fierce, determined, loving and curious, but she was as angry as she was joyful. Not uncomfortable, irritated, or typical baby stuff that I would hear other mothers talk about. She was a happy little baby, but bhe was angry with me and the world. She loved me fiercely but she was full of my fire, my fear. 

She was well loved, protected, and all of her needs were met. She did not grow up in the conditions that I did and so I did not expect this rage I knew from an early age. there was this side of her that was full of fear, rage and anxiety from infancy. I worked hard to not limit her with my fears and desires and instead encouraged her to be her. I avoided the cycle I had been taught in my upbringing as much as was humanly possible. And yet I noticed that she was exhibiting my trauma responses as early as a few months. She was mimicking my childhood behaviors and reactions. Perhaps I still showed those responses today but this was something much deeper – this was nature, not nurture.

She also had willpower and determination that shocked people. She came in an old soul in a young body and this time she was here with a purpose – to wake me up. She spurred me into action to heal myself, her and my ancestors generations forwards and backwards. It was time to end the cycle of violence in my family and myself. I had to confront what I had been avoiding, ignoring.

I had normalized my past to such an extent that although I knew it was anything but normal, I never realized how much I had internalized. I had always been taught that the physical needs – a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes on your back – were all that mattered in life and because I had been given that and above and beyond with vacations and more, I had nothing to complain about. I thought my lifelong depression and desire to die were normal. It never occurred to me that it was so far out of the range of normal that it had left molecular bruises imprinted into my genetic code that I could pass on to future generations. And likely I had inherited some as well.

It was the end of the beginning for me – the first part of my life lived unconsciously without feeling was done. And the beginning of the end for my daughter because I was determined to put an end to this trait of inheritance. Thorough the presents of presence, we can change our past and our future. I was determined to change mine.

I was always taught that it is not desirable to be unbecoming, one always had to be presentable, put together and know the way forward. I am finally learning that messy is beautiful and life is messy. As I unbecome my past 40 plus years to discover who I am, the inner child in me is finally, for the first time in her life, getting a voice.

She is ready to learn how to sing songs of joy and paint the world in color. She will splatter paint everywhere in her joy of creation and enjoy the mess. I am learning to parent and raise my daughter while I parent and raise myself. I am finally growing up and becoming me.

This blog is the story of my unbecoming and the rebuilding of myself.