08 Mar Are you suffering? Turn your pain into power.
At the age of 23 I suffered from severe acne. My 4-year relationship had just ended and so I lived with it secretly for over a year. My back was covered in terrible boil like lumps, I had to wear strapless bras to stop the straps from painfully pushing into my acne.
White coloured clothes were completely eliminated from my wardrobe in case my back would bleed during the day…which happened often. I had to strategically buy a new wardrobe which covered my torso – thank goodness high neck tops were in fashion! I even bought a t-shirt bikini for my holidays and pretended I just loved the style! A couple of months later the acne spread to my face and it became painful for me to open my mouth never mind the emotional pain and insecurities I developed.
The thought of dating someone and them finding out the truth about what was beneath my clothes completed paralysed me and so meeting someone new was completely off the cards. In many ways I went in to hiding for the whole year.
None of my friends knew and I kept it that way for over a year. To the outside world, I was a happy, confident woman, I had a ‘successful’ career and my salary was pretty high for my age. It looked like I was flying at life, but on the inside I was beginning to hate myself, my confidence was disappearing day by day and I was withdrawing myself more and more…yet no one really knew. I was so ashamed of my secret.
For the first 6 months, I would look in the mirror and envy other women and their flawless skin, I would cry at the sight of my body and ask ‘why me?!’ I would scrunch my face and tell myself I was disgusting, ugly and that ‘no one would ever want me’.
I couldn’t bare to be around other people in case they got a glimpse at my secret so I turned to books for intimacy and after trying every prescribed medication under the sun to heal my body I began experimenting with holistic, herbal and natural remedies to heal myself. I became a master in self-care which would eventually lead to self-love and my best friends became Oprah Winfrey, Co Co Chanel, Gabby Bernstein and Maya Angelou.
Oprah would teach me about following my heart, seeing beauty in every day life and following the signs, Gabby would teach me about shining my light and Maya would teach me that I am so much more than my body…Chanel taught me that it wasn’t about where you came from, it was about your passion to make a difference and where you were going.
A couple of months in and the acne just wasn’t leaving. I was starting to think it was something I would live with forever.
I would pray for it to go and beg that I would wake up one day and it would be gone.
Eventually I knew something had to give. In the words of the late beautiful Maya Angelou; when you can’t change a situation, you are forced to change yourself.
I had no choice but to start believing that I was more than who I appeared to be, if not, I would drive myself insane and continue to drown in insecurities.
I became obsessed with reading biographies and what made people successful. I thought ‘success’ could make up for my lack of self-worth and self-love. I thought becoming successful would ‘fix’ me and make me feel better. I engulfed myself in biographies from the likes of Ralph Lauren, Grace Jones, Steve Jobs and Vivienne Westwood. I wanted to know their secrets.
Everyone I read about was singing the same tune…none of them had climbed the traditional ‘career ladder’, none of them had been people pleasers, none of them had started a business for money, instead it was all about integrity, passion and what set their soul on fire.
What I started to realise was that success lay in following your passion, not following the crowd but following your heart, adventure and getting to know who you truly are and walking your own path.
I started to learn that my beauty lay within my smile, my energy, my light and my laughter. My beauty lied within how I could make people feel and how I could make myself feel. For once this was something I could control and I was ready to take control. I was ready to find out who I truly was and what my heart yearned for.
It was time for me to practise everything the women before me had taught me. I began to think about what I truly wanted and who I wanted to become.
I started to understand the laws of the universe and not only that, I started to practise it. I learnt about purpose, what it meant to have a calling, I began to understand my unique gifts and most of all that I was worthy.
I am worthy.
I am worthy.
I am worthy.
I began to understand who I was. I began to see the wonderful gifts only I could offer the world. I began to fall in love with the true essence of who I was.
I remember being told by a woman who I highly respected that her mentor had said; “Alice is too giggly and girly to take on the role you want her to…no one will take her seriously.” I remember it hurt me so bad and shattered my soul. From then on I tried my best to hide my ‘giggly and girly sides’. It felt so un-natural but I thought that was what I had to do and it was all part of ‘growing up.’
This became a real self-limiting belief I held.
However when reading the words of Oprah, Gabby Bernstein and Maya Agoulou, I finally started to see that these ‘weaknesses’ were in fact my greatest strengths.
I had a natural ability to make people smile, feel loved, feel at ease in my presence and safe. What a beautiful gift I could bring to the world. How could they possibly be perceived as weaknesses…but worse than that, how did I not respect and love myself enough to nurture those gifts?
The woman who had said those things about me, was absolutely right. I had no business being giggly and girly in the work place. In-fact I had no business at all being in that work place.
I wasn’t born to co-create in such a company, I was born to lead, to stand out, to set my own agenda and lead my own path. I was born to shine and so were you.[/vc_column_text]
“You see that ache you feel is the beautiful stubborn whisper of your soul”
You see that ache you feel is the beautiful stubborn whisper of your soul and it will nudge and prod you until you surrender and listen to your calling.
Everything became so clear for me, I could finally see, life became so simple. I understood I was on this planet to be me and my only job was to become more of who I truly was. I wasn’t here to become more of who people wanted me to be, something I had focused on for such a long time (being the perfect partner, employee, daughter) – that was now irrelevant. I had one obligation….and it was to full fill my destiny. My destiny to support other people on their journey of BE-coming their true self.
My acne which once haunted me became my most treasured lesson, my most beautiful gift. finally surrendered to who I was. I loved my body, I loved my scars, I loved my light. I had become what I can only describe as whole and my acne was the catalyst.
The scars on my back beautifully illustrate my story. The acne taught me to love myself so that one day I could help others do the same. The acne taught me to be non-judgemental so that one day I could teach others to do the same. The acne taught me to look within so that one day I could teach others to look within.
I swopped the black suits for my ripped skinny jeans, t-shirts and boots. I swopped the formal hand shakes for hugs and finally I turned my passion and purpose into my career and life’s work. I now work 1 on 1 with men and women who want to increase their confidence, gain clarity on where they’re going and most importantly live a life that’s aligned to who they are. My business, The BE Platform is dedicated to you BE-coming you.
Every aspect of my life is a true representation of who I am and for that, I am extremely grateful.
So now, I turn to you to ask…
What is your pain here to teach you?
How can you surrender to it and learn from it?
How can you nurture yourself through this journey?
How have you neglected yourself?
What signs have you been ignoring?
What parts of you do you see as weaknesses?
How could these become your strengths?
Now ask yourself…
How can your pain become your power?
Love and Peace,
P.S Want to know more about how we could work together? I’d love to chat with you! Email [email protected]