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  • Writer's picturePenny Muller

Express Your Humanity

It's time to release the masks and shields that prevent us from connecting as humans.

There are so many things that we don't talk about as humans - things to do with our bodies, our hearts, our souls. We've been programmed to show false selves to the world - selves that have been honed and fashioned to appear acceptable to society in whatever manner society prescribes. For most of us, this has resulted in a deep sense of shame of many aspects of self, whether or not we see this or choose to accept it. Everywhere I go, I see beautiful, kind, intelligent people who have a deep sense of unworthiness about one or multiple aspects of their bodies, personalities or abilities. Those who are less honest attempt to hide their shame in myriad ways, but the facade is visible to those of us who are aware, and it provides a barrier to vulnerability - and therefore to true friendship and intimacy.

Shame of our humanity seems a futile waste of our energy and potential. We are missing so much of life if we are afraid to love - to laugh, to touch, to play, and to cry with others. It can be easier to show leniency to others than to ourselves, and often it is our delightful flaws that endear us to others - a common humanity that provides that sense of belonging - that bridge between hearts. Those who are open to these concepts - who are committed to self-growth and who are reading this material, are advanced souls, here to share their light as the earth ascends. They are not 'bad' and damaged humans, but humans who have struggled to adapt to a low-density planet that includes polarity - pain and shame as well as beauty.

When did we decide we needed to cover up all aspects of ourselves that are not deemed worthy? When did we decide we needed to erase as many aspects of our true selves as possible? Our souls' innate knowing is to cherish and delight in the body we chose to inhabit. It can't be natural to want to mutilate or augment body parts or inject toxins into our faces to erase our true selves. Pervasive societal programming must be at fault here. This dissatisfaction with our outward appearance must be a distraction from our shame about our inner selves. We think, somehow, if we appear 'perfect' on the outside, we will not feel the insidious unworthiness within ourselves - we can somehow hide it from ourselves as well as others.

I'm not immune to this. I learned as a child in church that I would never be 'good' as Christ was, regardless of how much I sacrificed and forgave. I learned that a 'bad' thought was equal to a 'bad' deed - I didn't learn that a thought or a feeling was information that I could use to free myself from self-defeating patterns and societal expectations. I believed that my personality was flawed because my values differed from other people's. My conscious awareness that my body wasn't good enough came at about eight years old, and I remember restricting food from the age of twelve. It took until I was nineteen - when I learned about MBTI personality types - to start to embrace my innate personality, but my issues with my body have continued until very recently. It's been a long, hard road, but with much concentrated work, I am feeling genuine love for my body at last.

There are so many normal, natural things that happen to bodies, and some that are common due to lifestyle and environmental pressures, that are not talked about - and for many, there is much embarrassment as a result. Because so many things are hidden, we think we are the only person having a particular physical experience. We can start to change this by sharing our experiences, even if we are judged. People only judge things because they are afraid of them. With familiarity, they will be freed from that fear or discomfort. We can start to challenge the shame we have around our bodies. Last year, I was inspired to stop dying my hair. Suddenly, probably because I am living in an environment where there is more 'realness', dyed hair began to look unnatural to me, I stopped liking the way it looked, and I had been someone who had always removed every trace of hair that wasn't brown before anyone had a chance to see it. I have surprised myself with how little I notice my transitioning hair now, and I have moments of surprise for what I have chosen. But, when I see women of my age who are embracing their natural hair, I think they look empowered and confident, and representative of who I aspire to be - and so I am reassured that I have made the best decision for me.

I've also been experimenting with body hair, after realising that I have been removing every possible thread, starting from when I was barely a teenager. I had practically not experienced body hair for over twenty-five years. I'm very attached to my feminine identity and I don't wish to change this as it feels positive for me, but it is only societal programming that tells us that body hair is unfeminine. Even men are feeling pressure to remove body hair. This experimentation is just for me, over winter, to take my acceptance of my body to the next level. I wanted to observe the emotions that would arise when I saw my body as it actually is, and they have been arising. Yesterday, I was wanting to reach for the razor, but instead, I made the choice to sit with those feelings for a few more weeks until they feel fully integrated - until some of those layers of programming are unraveled and I can go forward and make a decision that is mine, with clarity.

We worry that if we show our true selves, we will not be loved, not realising that it is the disguising of the aspects of ourselves that we deem unloveable that is pushing love away, as love is based on authenticity and trust. Deep self-love is difficult to explain. As my friend said last night, it has to be felt. It is something that needs to be continually practiced over time until it becomes embodied in us. It starts with showing up as ourselves - expressing that within us that is aching to be expressed, sharing our creative output with others, making decisions that are supportive of all aspects of our wellbeing, accepting abundance and allowing freedom, choosing pleasure and prioritising joy, and honouring our unique and precious gifts and qualities. I am building mine in every moment of the day - in acknowledging what my body, mind and spirit are longing to feel, to do, to try, and to release. I am building my self-love in giving attention to those ''vibrational ripples'', as Elizabeth April calls them Homepage - Elizabeth April, which let me know that I am feeling frustrated or stuck or unfree. I am looking beneath those vibrational ripples to determine what I can do to soothe and clear them - to change mindsets and shift old patterns.

It makes me very sad to think that the girl in these photos didn't think that she was 'enough'. Yes, I think she was beautiful, but I wouldn't want to go back. That girl struggled and suffered. She doubted herself and apologised for herself, and took a long time to start realising her potential. She will always live within me. I love her and I have compassion for her, but she is not all of me - I am much more than the limits that she imposed on me and I will no longer be imposed upon. We all have the capacity to heal the aspects of our past - the trauma we experienced in our feelings of 'not-enoughness'. There is no reason for us to carry our childhood wounding into our later lives. Our true selves are beautiful at every age - we are beautiful in our imperfection.

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