The journey of “coming into one’s own” is one of self-discovery, of seeing aknd knowing oneself authentically, the triumphant experience of receiving how it is to see ourselves, and be seen, for who we truly are. It reminds me of what Toko-pa Turner says in her book, Belonging:
Where you ache to be recognised, allow yourself to be seen.
This homecoming is a process of learning to see ourselves first. What we accept and learn to love in ourselves, we can then allow to be seen by the world. One does not simply arrive here, without doing the work of peeling back the layers that cover our authentic selves, innermost desires and potential. It requires uncovering growth by getting to the depths of all that holds us back, whether past hurt, trauma, wounds that need healing, self-limiting beliefs or simply a belief in lack. It inevitably requires us to move in ways that we are not comfortable with, and we can only find newness by moving towards the edge of that discomfort.
Venturing into this unknown involves a simultaneous discovery of desire within, and inner strength to follow through. Undoubtedly, you’ll find fear, grief, insecurity waiting for you there. But this gradual process of meeting all that you have hitherto protected yourself from, kept hidden, helps loosen the grip, acknowledge and see yourself in your wholeness.
Knowing yourself is no different to exercise. When we place incremental strain, stretch and wear and tear on our bodies/muscles, we encourage them to grow. Similarly, your personhood finds opportunity to grow through experiences outside the comfort zone. Through confronting your fears gradually, you also find the capacity to meet them. It’s a practice that is best done slowly, one day at a time, and even better under the careful guidance of an experienced professional who not only knows the ways of how to stretch and grow, but can hold your hand and take you through it.
Let’s be honest, these challenges may be daunting. To tread unexplored waters that have always been scary. It reminds us of all that we could lose, so we choose to stay and remain unchanged. But there is a price in staying, as much as there is in moving. And sometimes that price is the opportunity to come home to yourself.