Those who know of it speak of it not, those who speak of it, know it not.
I’m writing this with trepidation and fear that you may not like me, trust me, or find me credible after reading what I’m about to share.
I started this post with the quote above because the truth is, I speak and “preach” a ton.
But the truth is, the girl in the mirror is not me.
I still struggle to accept my wholeness:
- good girl and bad girl
- ugly and beautiful
- selfish and selfless
- loyal and deceitful
- compassionate and judgmental
- productive and lazy
- humble and arrogant
- kind and mean
- accomplished and loser
- generous and cheap
- pure and dirty
And I thought that by creating an idealized self-image I could escape from the truth.
The truth is I have yet to fully embrace my shadow, the person I would rather not be.
Deepak Chopra says in the book The Shadow Effect (coauthored by Marianne Williamson and the late Debbie Ford)
“People develop an ideal image and then try to live up to this image and convince the world that it’s who they are. An idealized self sounds like a model of acceptance. Thus shielded, you can hardly do wrong, and if you do, your misdeeds are quickly covered and forgotten. The beauty of having an ideal image of yourself is that you do actually do feel good about who you are. The image substitutes for a painful reality.”
And what a painful reality it is when I have committed to helping people live their full potential and accept themselves, yet on a daily basis, I’m often disgusted with the person I would rather not be.
This is where I’m at right now.
I’ve moved to Austin and have been spending a lot of time with myself. All of myself.
For the past three years I’ve had this “image.” I’ve been on TV, interviewed NY Times bestselling authors on my radio show Deep Talk, interviewed by some of the best podcasters out there, published in major media outlets, and have built a brand on my philosophy:
Your freedom lies in taking action.
So here I am, about to start vegetarian culinary school (the main reason we moved to Austin) and I’m sitting here thinking,
“Who the hell am I? Am I not Vasavi of www.vasavikumar.com? Do I matter anymore? Are people going to forget me?”
On top of the fact that I’m still trying to find my way around and feel like an idiot because I need to use my GPS, feeling anxious about the newness and not having girlfriends in close proximity.
My husband Ashish is more than supportive. And I find myself feeling guilty that I may be “too much” or completely annoying.
It’s things like these that I find myself beating myself up over.
- I AM Vasavi Kumar.
- I SHOULD know better.
- I have an IVY LEAGUE education.
- I’m SMART.
- I’m CLEVER.
- I’m a HUSTLER.
It’s not always pretty. In fact, being with the parts of myself I despise most is opening my eyes to this harsh reality:
If I do not learn to love and accept these parts of myself, I will live a life of pain and suffering.
And that is not what I’m committed to.
I’ve consciously chosen to look inwards and be with all of myself to accept my wholeness.
“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are without any self-deception or illusion that a light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognized.” -I Ching
And right now, I don’t feel aligned with my message and in my being.
There is work to be done (as there always is) and this season of my life has called me to bow down gracefully and accept that I simply cannot and will not continue to uphold my idealized self-image so I can distract myself from myself.
Even by writing this out loud and sharing with you, I am taking the power away from my shadow.
Our shadow loves secrets. Like, LOVES secrets. It thrives and grows on duality.
No wonder I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
It’s our secrets that keep us sick.
I have lived a life of duality for as long as I can remember. And just because that has been my “norm” does not mean I have to continue living that way.
I am committed to being whole. For now, that means I am trying to get acquainted with the girl in the mirror. (Read more about the brown girl in the mirror)
I don’t have parting words of wisdom here or a big “lesson” to teach you—again, that would be my idealized self image speaking.
So that’s it for now.
P.S. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments below in the discussion. Love you and here’s to you experiencing a New Year one step closer to fully accepting all of who you are.