Be true to yourself

The concept of human awakening (spiritual or personal) sparks extraordinary interest considering the number of books, websites and YouTube videos that exist on the subject.

The definition of awakening is ‘an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’. Once aware we strive to create positive change in our lives, and from experience I know that this is not easy. Like the lion in The Wizard of Oz I once lacked courage to face truths and react to a new perspective.

In my early twenties I was in a loveless marriage but refused to face reality. On holiday my husband and I were caught in a fierce cyclone. At first I was terrified but eventually I had an overwhelming feeling of calm and knew without a doubt my husband was not the person I wanted to spend my life with.

When we returned home I ignored the warning by convincing myself our marriage would improve if we started a family. It didn’t go well, the marriage fell apart and I became a shattered single mother with a baby who ultimately suffered as a result of the doomed marriage.

A while later I was vulnerable during the legal process of ending the marriage. At every meeting I felt bullied and manipulated to resolve the issues. I have never felt so powerless or weak.

It was during one of these meetings that I knew I could challenge the pompous lawyers and stand up for myself. I momentarily lost my fear and this experience was liberating.

However instead of seizing this change in attitude and going forward living without fear, I reverted to my previous demeanor and spent many more years being submissive.

Turning 50 was a milestone I saw as another opportunity to be courageous and shatter the protective box I had imposed around myself.

One night I awoke during the quietest hours and knew the only way I would be content was to regain my individuality and rebuild my confidence.

I wanted to revert to using my name at birth rather than be known by my second husband’s family name, which I had used for 22 years. This was difficult because I deeply love my husband and my intention infuriated him.

I thought about the times I’d previously ignored the signs from awakening experiences and I knew I couldn’t let myself down again. So after many weeks of upsetting and confronting discussions I told my husband I was going ahead and changing my name.

It wasn’t easy contacting the relevant authorities to prove that I was the person on my birth certificate, it was demeaning but I persisted.  Telling family, friends and work colleagues I had changed my name made me uncomfortable and the subject of whispers about whether my marriage was in trouble (which it never was).

I felt I had let everyone down and crushed expectations of who I should be, but I held firm knowing my decision was right for me. It took all my strength to push away fear but it was liberating and ultimately made me whole again.  (My post I am who I am describes more of this story)

From then on I tapped into an infinite reserve of courage and slowly started living with confidence and being true to myself. Freedom is bliss.

My fourth awakening experience was spiritual and inspired an overwhelming feeling of peace and optimism that things are as they should be. This day I knew I’ve  found  the right path after being lost for so many years.  (My post Serenity describes more about this)

It took me 50+ years to learn the truth in the following quote. I hope everyone else discovers it long before I did.

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. Bob Moawad

My post today is part of a series of posts about awakening experiences by various bloggers initiated by Barbara of Me My Magnificent Self. Further details 
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57 thoughts on “Be true to yourself

  1. That’s a beautiful story, Jenna, and I love the quote too.
    Understanding the true meaning requires a journey of self discovery. I think it comes easier for some than for others. My learning curve has been long, but I’m getting there! 🙂

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    1. We are all on our own personal journey in life and for some of us it takes longer than others to realise our full potential as a person, but that’s okay. Love to you Denise from Jenna 🙂

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  2. You are such a brave lady! This post is full of so much heart and I wish you so many wonderful things. Great to be in touch on the blogosphere. I enjoy my visits to your site and look forward to seeing your work in my Reader! 😉

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  3. “From then on I tapped into an infinite reserve of courage and slowly started living with confidence and being true to myself.” I loved this sentence. How a act of following your heart, which took great courage, led to this confidence of being true to yourself. I have found my 50s to be the best years of my life. So much has fallen away to leave only those parts of me that truly matter. It only gets better now!

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  4. I absolutely love this post! It’s fascinating to get such an insight into other people’s ‘awakenings’ – how we come to grow and understand life and ourselves – its powerfully written too – can’t wait for the next bit 🙂 Sophie xx

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  5. It is indeed quite a rush when for the first time you can fend off the attack and come away victorious. I know this and I did this at my weakest hour. It is amazing how much more we have within us that we do not know about. This year, I will turn 50 and for some reason, I feel a sense of urgency that I cannot put my finger on…an urgency to get my ‘house in order’ as with my personal things, papers, and other belongings. It is weighing on me…that I spent all these years trying to get somewhere in the world, acquire those things I needed, etc. Now I feel like it is time to pare it all down and shed it. Did you feel like that too?

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    1. Yes I too approached turning 50 with a sense of getting things in order. I knew if I didn’t start living life the way I wanted then most likely I would never change or evolve. It took courage and many attempts to create changes but after three years I am very happy with my progress. I hope we keep in touch as I’d love to share in your experiences too. Love Jenna

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  6. I contend that we need all those stumbles in order to see what the right path really is. You can’t know whether you’re doing the right thing unless you make mistakes to compare it to. Then the right thing becomes oh-so clear. Thanks for describing my journey. I love the way you phrase it.

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  7. Wonderful Jenna… thank you so much for sharing and I will enjoy your other in-depth posts too… and you know what they say…. it’s never too late… and I know for sure that our written experiences will help inspire many other to choose to awaken ‘with a quantum leap’… take care, Barbara

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  8. Hi Jenna, thank you again for sharing your very inspiring life journey. I’m glad you found your way ‘home’. This reminds me of your quote – Change will come when the time is right. Shine on, my friend :). Much love, Pat

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  9. I’m glad I’m not the only ‘late bloomer’! 🙂 I got divorced when I was in my 40s, moved with only my dog to Arizona from Alabama, started grad school, and gradually emerged from the dark tunnel in which I had been living my whole life. My divorce was final shortly after I moved here. It’s only gotten better from there. And I’m so glad I ended that phase of my life because it allowed me to be who I am today.

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  10. It took great courage to finally listen and act. The 50’s are an amazing time in a woman’s life. I am nearing mine myself, and I do feel very much as if layers are finally coming off, and I can see myself at the core. Thank you for sharing… m.

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  11. I admire your courage to continue to be true to yourself Jenna. You seem to have enjoyed the taste of freedom often enough throughout your life to know that this personal freedom is what you need and how you must live. You listen to, and hear the message from your heart so clearly. I’m always cheering you on Jenna.

    My word for this year is “authentic”. I’m on the same journey as you. Although our lives are traveling on different roads along the way, our destination is the same.

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    1. Hi Joanne, thanks for your input to my post. It took me many years to learn from awakening experiences because in my younger years I thought I knew better what was best for me. What I have learned is that even though I am a loving wife and mother I am fundamentally an individual with the same freedoms and choices as any other individual. Good luck to you too on your journey. I value keeping up with you and sharing experiences. Love Jenna 🙂

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