The Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self ~ Overview

The thought of showing up as our Authentic Selves can be exciting and scary. It requires us to take risks, and sometimes we don’t know the outcome before we take the journey … but some of us feel compelled to embark on the journey anyway … like being drawn to the beacon of a lighthouse.

When we consider taking the risks to show up as our Authentic Selves, we ask:

Will my marriage weather the transition? Will my employer promote me or fire me? Will my family and friends embrace me or ostracize me? Will I like my Authentic Self?

We can’t know how things will turn out before we jump off the proverbial cliff.

In Star Wars, our Heroes begin their journey without guarantees. But they have hope and conviction so they risk the journey. They commit to playing their part to unfold the future. And we pray the Force is with them.

If we don’t show up as our Authentic Selves, our loving relationships are never fulfilling because our true selves are hiding behind masks. People can’t really reach us and we can’t reach them.

We’re busy managing people’s impressions of ourselves … we’re looking good, trying hard to please others … hoping they’ll love us the way we want to be loved. Or we’re withdrawing to protect ourselves, or we’re fighting with our loved ones.

That’s called manipulation, not love.

If we don’t show up as our Authentic Selves, our work is never fulfilling because our true selves are hiding behind masks. Even if we get promoted because we are smart and conscientious, we’ll still be unhappy because we’re not tapped into our sweet spot, shining from our God-given blueprint. Without the passion of being fully alive, we feel drained, depressed or anxious.

For those of us who choose to embark on the Hero’s Journey, there is a part of us who is afraid to fully show up. And there’s a part who feels compelled to excavate and express our Authentic Self.

We don’t have to get rid of the fear to proceed. We take it with us, like a parent holding the hand of a scared child. I supplement the “parent” part of you until you get strong enough to manage fear on your own.

Sensitive Introverts want to be loved and respected for who we truly are. We want genuine emotional connection. We want to express our unique voices. We yearn to share our special gifts with the world. We feel bad when we hold ourselves back.

Here’s the good news!

When we take a stand to show up as our Authentic Selves, then we will find the people who truly support us.

Or our current relationships will evolve along with us.

Some people may fall away. In the beginning of the journey, it’s hard to let go of people we’ve been attached to. But we have to do what a caterpillar has to do: let go so we can transform into a butterfly.

I’ll help you develop the skills to say good-bye to the parts of your old life that no longer serve you so you can say hello to your Authentic Self and the new nurturing relationships that will arrive. The Force is directing your feet.

We need to turn toward people who will support us, instead of clinging to people who don’t choose to connect with us in healthy ways.

“You would do well to spend quality time with those whose generosity of spirit waters your emotional garden. Remember that you deserve to receive this kind of nourishment.” ~author unknown

We need to stop fighting with people, trying to get them to change. We need to stop manipulating ourselves and other people.

We need to develop the courage and skills to communicate honestly and tactfully, sharing from the innermost chambers of our tender hearts. We need to take responsibility for kindly expressing what we most yearn for instead of just complaining or keeping quiet. We must respect others’ choice to say a loving “yes” to our requests, or accept their “no.”  We need to learn to create win-win solutions that enrich emotional intimacy.

I call this self-respect and respect for others.

We must challenge the idea that being true to ourselves is selfish. Many of us grew up with the idea that it is bad to be self-centered … to think about ourselves … as if we couldn’t think about ourselves and be kind to others at the same time.

Some people will understand us and like us; some people won’t. When we define our true North, and summon the courage to be real, we glisten like a diamond, just as God intended.

When we pay more attention to our divine blueprint than to the opinions of others, only then will we experience true fulfillment.

One of the main reasons Sensitive Introverts don’t experience the fulfillment that comes from being true to their Authentic Selves is that they avoid the pain of the Hero’s Journey. I’m not sugar-coating this. It’s not for the weak of heart. It can be very difficult. But I’ve gone ahead of you, clearing a path in the wilderness so your journey can be easier.

I’m standing here with the roadmap to show you the most efficient path so you are more likely to reach your destination, with fewer scars and injuries.

And you’ll experience a lot more joy along the way! Yep, we’ll be laughing, too.

The Old Paradigm
When we’ve been hurt, and we suppress or repress our vulnerable emotions, we get stuck. Frozen in time. We put on a mask, protecting our soft under-belly from being hurt. Turtles have shells for a reason. We hide our innermost selves when we don’t feel safe.

Maybe we feel safe in our turtle shell, but we can’t truly flourish.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for. ~John Augustus Shedd (1859 – 1928)

We may try hard to be successful in ways defined by the world. But our relationship with our Authentic Self, with our body, with God, and with others becomes compromised. This separation creates dis-ease and unrest on many levels.

When we’re feeling upbeat, positive and happy, everything’s great. But inevitably the pendulum will swing, and we’ll feel bad again. Suffering will capture us in his grip, like a dragon flying away with his prey.

We’ve been taught that we should be positive. There’s something wrong with us if we’re feeling negative.

The notion that some emotions are good and some are bad is a form of conditional love for ourselves. It keeps us stuck in a vicious cycle. The pendulum swings from good to bad and back again, over and over. We don’t feel a solid sense of our wholeness when we live in this swinging paradigm.

When we pray for healing and it doesn’t happen, it might be because we’re caught in this old paradigm.

The New Paradigm
Contrary to popular opinion, fear, anger, or anguish are not the problem. Emotions are not our enemies and we do not have to get rid of them or release them.

We need to accept difficult emotions as part of our human experience and learn how to stay fully present in our bodies, and connected spiritually. This is easier said than done. I know.

The ability to stay present in ourselves, and love ourselves … no matter what … in joy and sorrow … this is the key that unlocks the door. Then we’ll be able to love others in more purity. And we’ll be able to receive love.

As we open up more and more, we can feel the immense love of God that has always been there for us but we just couldn’t feel it. Then we can cultivate deep emotional intimacy that is truly satisfying.

Don’t implode into depression or explode in anger. Just stay present and feel and breathe.

For those of us beginning the Hero’s Journey, we need an expert guide by our side, because if we don’t have this kind of support, we probably won’t be able to stay fully present in the midst of intense emotion and doubt.

Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and R2D2.

Dorothy in the wizard of Oz had Glenda.

You should have wise guidance, too.

As we develop the ability to stay fully present, we’re able to sense our true identity. Our spirit … our Authentic Self … the one who is whole … who always has been whole … in communion with God’s immense love, wisdom and power … whether we’re feeling happy or sad … whether people adore us or hate us.

We can learn to remain stable in the eye of the storm.

Spiritual and emotional intimacy is the ultimate fulfillment for a highly sensitive introvert. It opens the door to pure service.

The Hero’s Journey is always evolving to the next level of mastery. One door opens to another and another. There’s always more wisdom to experience as our vision becomes clearer.

Photo by Benita A Esposito

The more healing we do, the more we are able to experience sweet intimacy with God and others.

The clouds evaporate and the sun naturally shines.

Health and vitality flow. Relationships flourish. Self-esteem rises.

On Your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self, you’ll …

• Clarify your core values and develop skills to craft the most meaningful life possible for you.
• Explore the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back.
• Learn why thinking positively doesn’t transform entrenched coping patterns.
• Examine childhood core decisions that have unconsciously thwarted your success.
• Transform difficult emotional experiences that have shaped your life.
• Increase the courage to show up as your Authentic Self, and share your most precious gifts.

Topics include, but are not limited to the following:

• Increase self-confidence, self-esteem, self-love.
• Create healthy relationships.
• Improve communication skills
• Be assertive, instead of non-assertive or aggressive.
• Deepen your emotional healing.
• Decrease emotional reactivity.
• Enjoy sweeter spiritual intimacy.
• Heal family of origin wounds.
• Achieve work-life balance.
• Improve self-care and overall health.

Photo by Benita A Esposito

Conclusion: Why take the journey to the Authentic Self?

You will learn how to remain calm in the peaceful eye of the hurricane while the winds whip all around you. Instead of shrinking back from your fears, you will find your way through the storm, and flourish in the freedom of pure love. When you develop the ability to feel your emotions while staying grounded in your body, you’ll experience an incredible freedom and peace, even in the midst of chaos. You’ll create less chaos in your life. You’ll connect with your Authentic Self and God. You’ll feel so much more whole.

Ready to get started on your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self?

Contact me for a complementary 10-minute phone interview.

Click here for credentials: Benita A. Esposito

Your Authentic Life. Anything Else is a Compromise.


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