Disclaimer: For this blog I mention influential women in my life. Countless men have also influenced and empowered me, but today I focus on the females who have led the way. Quite frankly my dears, you are breathtaking.
This quote is really challenging me right now, causing me to do a lot of reflection on the past and present. I’m asking myself questions about who has influenced me in the past, what do I need to hear from others in my current season (who do I need now) and who am I encouraging on their journey?
By looking back through my relationships in years gone by and noticing who has helped me, I’m sure most people wouldn’t even be aware of their impact. I think of women named Joelle, Lauren, Sarah (x 3), Rose, Jenny, Lorna, Amanda, Tash, Nat, Lara, Liz (x2), women who I looked up to and admired for different reasons. Through them I learned so much about positive: mental health, sexuality, playfulness, intelligence, strength, endurance, perspective, self-discovery and intimacy with God. Each of them in their own way has allowed me to accept myself a little more and not shut off parts that I thought were unacceptable. I owe them thanks for living their lives authentically. I still need you and I honestly can’t express my thanks adequately for the way you have shared your lives with me (either up close or from afar).
I know that as I have and continue to be been positively influenced, I would hope that others are encouraged or inspired by how I navigate my life and my own battles and frustrations. For those behind me in life’s journey I honestly find it harder to articulate what I would like to share. There are so many things to say, so many fears to diffuse and lies to pull down, but I know you will be defeat them too. If I could share a few thoughts, I would look at you with sincere eyes and tell you that…
You are probably doing better than you think.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but honey, in my eyes,
you are wonderful just as you are in this moment.
The growth and victories will come in time.
All you have to be by the age of (X) is yourself
and that’s all that is required.
And don’t worry about getting older, it’s actually really great.
The quote below by Atticus Poetry wonderfully encapsulates my personal approach to Wellness Coaching (my paid profession) as well as how I like to mentor others. It speaks about creating space for people to be their authentic selves, because when we are our true selves that’s when growth takes place. Am I the type of person others feel safe to be themselves around? Do they know that I will love them where they are at, not where they ‘should’ be. Do I give people permission to be a work in progress; both a masterpiece and a mess at the same time?
One of the things I value most in relationships is authenticity. I believe that without authenticity we are all just living in the shadows, putting filters over our true selves and leaving us and others disappointed with reality. Of course I’m not saying that we should live our lives into a microphone sharing our every thought, however I would advocate sharing your victories when you feel you can. It’s so important that you do, because you have wisdom to share and there may be someone who desperately needs it right now.
Isn’t it empowering to realise that you can give other people comfort in their journey because of how you have navigated yours? Your journey could be the answer for someone else who is struggling in theirs. Emphasis on your journey. Not my journey, not that ‘super-star’ sibling you have or big-time success story from school or even that 50 km running, blonde haired, perfectly sculpted influencer you follow (God bless them too though)… but your unique journey. Be ‘the person’ for someone else that you needed by being authentically you.
Love Jess xxoo