From the moment we enter this world our life takes shape. The events of each day bring with them outcomes from which we learn. It is these outcomes that determine how we view the world, relate to the world, and most importantly, develop in character and health. The relationships connected to each event influence the impact and in doing so greatly contribute to who we become, and why we become.

For me, early trauma coupled with a controlled upbringing meant adopting screwed views of how life worked. With a daily dialogue running through my mind reminding me I was not liked, life around me supported the notion. Loneliness, bullying, and isolation saw me fall victim to anorexia nervosa at 15. I had become the very thought dominating my days – a person not liked – or though I thought!

The chameleon in me came out to play. Driven by beliefs I had created over time, I changed my character to suit the environment I walked into. Attempting to close the gap between loneliness and barely there, belonging and wholeness alluded me. I was perpetually lost within the blur I called my life.

The exhaustion of creating personas eventually caught up with me. My body, no longer able to support the many faces I presented to the world, collapsed. The time had arrived where sorting through my life was a necessity. Reaching out, I met a woman who practiced Reality Therapy – what a find! Guiding me through life events, especially my relationships to date, I began a journey of self-discovery that would see me finally settle upon being the person I naturally was. I binned the many faces I had worn, replacing them all with ‘one’. This ‘one’ now walks with me into every environment I visit. Unwavering, I proudly display the elements which simply make me, me.

Unlocking the elements which had made me WHY I WAS, resulted in me claiming a compelling story that had relentlessly inflicted itself upon me determining my path. Identifying each element as it presented itself, working to resolve their content, gave me the greatest gift life can give – the gift of self. I had buried me deep beneath a concocted life characterised by the insecurity born from having been abused at such a young age. An array of personas had shown up in attempts to deliver the ‘thing’ I craved the most – acceptance. Little did I know, that in fabricating the self, the opposite transpired. People were so confused by the many faces portrayed.

Now resting and at peace, I effortlessly carry my gift. Having been shaped by a story lined with trauma, abuse, bullying and the likes, the road to acceptance was long – yet telling. The understanding gained from exploring my thoughts, behaviours, emotions and physical symptoms, beliefs, values, wants and needs, set me up for recovery success. The barrier of fear proved difficult. Nudging at this barrier, bit by bit, found me gradually releasing its hold. The enormity of a story unknown, locked away, emerged step by step. A network of support formed around me. Sleepless nights and lonely days were traded up for nights of bliss and lasting friendships. The barely-there existence and associated illnesses did not stand a chance once each element had been assessed for truth. With weight restored, I returned to life.

When the time arrived to give birth to my children I took the learning with me. I nurtured the soul each presented themselves to be. I allowed them to grow into the face they naturally were. The gift I received through recovery became the gift I gave to them – to be yourself without fear of judgment and follow the path designed for you.

You see, instead of folding underneath the weight of a devastating story, I decided to use the events for benefit. Interrogating the chapters of a life lined with sadness gave me the knowledge required to turn myself around. I was able to redefine the self. I was able to live with freedom knowing that this story, my story, had purpose; to take the wisdoms gained and guide others through sharing their content. The years of immense struggle had served me well.

This is now my encouragement to those who read my words. Unconditionally accept the self, for in doing so you give yourself the greatest of life’s gifts – YOU. Claim the story that is your life, unlock the events that shaped you, discover the elements worthy of exploration, assessment, and releasing. Design a life reflecting your inner being – without compromise, yet in consideration for those with whom you connect. And as you navigate your pathway, your life, know that when living with self-acceptance as the base, those around you will experience your energy. The energy that says, “I accept you for you.” What a wonderful connection to give, to share, to witness.

Within the stories we create through the events we experience, lie the answers we seek, when in pain we ask ourselves, “Why?” Allow your story to be your friend. Allow it to show you your way. Then, when the journey to wholeness is complete, give thanks to the story for being there, teaching you. The elements of your story wait patiently for you to confide in them; they deserve your thanks!

The need to return to self is the reason for the, “Why?”