There is a lot of stress that comes with worrying about what other people think about us. Many of us live in some kind of fear that, if people knew who we really were, they would not accept us. So how can you be true to yourself?
Learning How To Be True To Yourself
It’s one of the issues we tackle directly in the Somatica Training. We’ve recognized that teaching people to be true to themselves in their relationships means they may have to “come out” about certain things. Even if they are scared they won’t be accepted by their partner(s), family, or friends.
If you feel afraid, remember – we are social creatures. So the idea that we can simply not care what other people think about us is ridiculous. You always have a choice about what you want to share – and what you don’t.
It’s also amazing to have a community to support you as you take steps to show up fully as yourself. As part of the Somatica community, you can do it with a whole comforting hamlet of people, all who are ready to deshamify, celebrate and support you in the process.
At the same time, it’s true that it can be quite freeing to lose the reputation you’ve been trying so hard to protect. So here’s a personal story by me, Celeste – about realizing at age 13 that I ultimately had no real control over what others thought. I hope by sharing it, it may help you find your own freedom.
How Rumors Start
One Monday morning, in 8th grade, I was jogging slowly around the block with my fellow students in PE class. I was born in the big city – San Francisco – but grew up in a small town where everyone was always in each other’s business. Having been homeschooled until 7th grade with a handful of my sweet hippie friends, I hadn’t yet experienced the pain of the rumor mill.
I also had crushes on boys, and had been slowly and excitedly experimenting with escalation. So far, I had French kissed and experienced a boy my age feeling my breasts above my shirt – that was it. I also had already gone through puberty, had size D breasts, dressed in sexy clothes, and was very flirtatious.
One of my classmates jogged up next to me and said, out of the blue, “So, I heard you gave head to John last night in Nate’s treehouse.” I felt the wind knocked out of me and could barely breathe. My fight or flight response kicked in full-force – and my brain must have chosen flight because I started to run as fast as I could.
Looking back now, I know I was trying to run away from this image of me as a girl who would give a blowjob at a party to someone she wasn’t even really dating. I was not a jock so this was certainly the fastest I’d ever run in PE.
I Embraced Myself
From this moment on, I was branded as a slut. When I first heard the rumor, I felt a very strong need to clear up my reputation, to make sure people knew I had done no such thing.
At first, I tried to tell everyone the truth about my level of experimentation so far. Pretty quickly, I realized this was pointless.
The good news was that I did have a community to support me. I had my sweet hippie friends who could care less how “far” I had gone. I was also lucky to have been born in the early 70’s into a family who had fully embraced the counterculture. It had never been our motto to fit in, or be what everyone else thought we should be. My dad was an avid stoner and, by this time, my mom had already begun her career as a Tarot reader.
Once I stopped running – literally and metaphorically – I realized that sexual desire was a big part of who I was. While I had only done a little petting, I knew I wanted more. The hormones were rushing and I was really horny. While I didn’t actually get to decide to come out about it on my own terms, I embraced my sexuality at a young age.
I loved to flirt and feel people’s attraction towards me. Though I didn’t have sex with lots of guys, I started having sex relatively early and had 5 partners by the end of high school. I also was very fond of making out at parties, and I really loved dressing sexy. I liked the attention and showing off my big, beautiful breasts.
Letting the “Good Girl” Go
There was something about losing the reputation of being a “good girl” that also freed me up from worrying too much about having to be “good” all the time – at least by society’s definitions. Doing so let me be myself, even though many people have felt uncomfortable or threatened by my overt sexuality over time.
When I think back to that 13 year old girl now, I have to acknowledge that it was a rough way to come out as myself. I wish I had been able to take the time, discover and embrace my full self in a safer, more supportive, and loving container.
It’s a gift I try to give my clients and students as they continue to explore and discover themselves in all the ways – whether it be their desires, their gender, the relationship structures they want, or their own unique wounds and strengths.
Being True to Yourself in Somatica
I always thought it was funny that the term shameless was an epithet. In Somatica, we think of it as a high compliment.
Facing all the shame that holds you back from being true to yourself is something you will revisit time and time again in the Somatica training or in Somatica Coaching sessions with an empowerment coach. Turns out being free of shame is not such a bad thing.
The Next Somatica Certification Training
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