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Peeling Away More Layers To My Authentic Self

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(Photo credit: Angel Brandner)

As I queue up for National Suicide Awareneness Month, I've come to realize how many layers I've uncovered in this journey back to my authentic self.

And how many layers continue to reveal themselves for me to address.

I am preparing for a speaking engagement on the subject of Suicide Awareness, broadening that to Authentic-Self Awareness which boils down to one thing:

Learning to love you.

This really is the crux of everything -- Love.

And self-love takes on so many forms.

Just the other day, as I was reading the book "The Wisdom of Menopause" by Dr. Christiane Northrup (I highly recommend it to women in midlife), I experienced a wave of emotion wash up through me.

I've been experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, and one of the most self-loving acts I can do during this extraordinary, transitional time is to pay attention to my emotions. And then to feel everything there is to feel.

I allowed this wave of sadness to wash through me as I cried.

I was thinking of my mother and how much I missed her. More accurately, I was feeling compassion for her, thinking what it must have been like to experience menopause with no support or even a clear understanding of it.

I was crying for all my women ancestors before me that also didn't have the support and understanding.

This is a vulnerable time as my brain is rewiring itself, preparing me for the birth of the greater version of me. It's a time of transmutation as I enter this passage in Life.

As for my mother, what I've been told is that she had had a hysterectomy after giving birth to her sixth child. She loved her babies.

I used to think how sad she must have felt that that was it -- no more possibility of having another.

However, it went much deeper than that.

Having a hysterectomy most likely threw her into early menopause, and what I understand (and am experiencing) from this time of transmutation, is that whatever unresolved emotional content has not been dealt with -- has not been fully felt -- will rise up in you whether you want it to or not.

I can only imagine the wave of emotions that went through my mother.

She had been traumatized as a young teen and had never fully felt what there was to feel from that experience. Circumstances caused her to repress and suppress all the emotions that impacted her in order for her to survive.

Fast forward, after years of struggling with the emotional density that weighed heavily within her, there she was, in an unhappy marriage with six children and labeled mentally ill.

She had had bouts of depression, been on a myriad prescribed narcotics, experienced rage followed by stints in the mental hospital.

I didn't understand any of it.

Until years later when I could intellectualize what happened.

And then the other day happened.

I know how vulnerable I feel experiencing this incredible change, and I have support.

I have a husband who told me the other day that he's going to love me through this.

I have resources, right now Dr. Northrup's book resonating most.

I have a healthcare practitioner that is available for whatever chiropractic and nutritional support I need.

I have another healthcare practitioner's phone number that I'll call when I get the nudge.

As I was crying that day while reading, something deeper arose:

On a subconscious level, I was not allowing myself permission to fully embrace this time and all the support I have with it, because my mother didn't have it.

I had spent my entire childhood giving everything I had to make her happy. And then she died by suicide.

And I was still holding residual guilt for not succeeding.

I didn't know I was doing that.

Until signals from my body inspired me to read Dr. Northrup's book.

I now wonder how many other times I've withheld being fully self-expressed in Life for the same reason. Most likely many.

And that's the beauty of perimenopause: for me, it shines a light on all that I need to resolve and lovingly release.

After having a good cry, I felt lighter and more clear. I consciously started giving myself permission to truly enjoy life and to fully accept and receive all the goodness it has to offer.

I know my mother wouldn't want it any other way.

And as I continue to prepare for my speaking engagement in September, I smile thinking how timely this breakthrough was.

Of course.

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If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.