The Journey to the Authentic Self
“The hardest battle you are ever going to have to fight is the battle to be just you.”
–Leo F. Buscaglia
This book will appeal to all highly sensitive people, but if you are a smart sensitive introvert who has struggled with anxiety, depression, trauma or relationships, you’ll especially relate to my memoir and teaching stories about the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.
You’ll learn proven tools to transform emotional pain into personal empowerment.
If you want to shorten the time it takes to develop personal mastery to create a flourishing life, you’re wise to model people who have succeeded in the skills you want to learn.
You’ll learn vicariously as you read my stories so you can shave off years of unnecessary suffering. I want you to shine confidently as your Authentic Self … even when people misunderstand you, judge you or don’t meet your needs.
I’m a psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor with four decades of experience, and I’m a regular down-to-earth person with lessons to learn just like you. I’m also an ordained minister, a spiritual counselor and a life coach, so you’ll learn a holistic approach that will unleash your full potential.
If you’re deeply touched by personal stories told in a vulnerable transparent way, you’ll love this book. And I’ll love that you’re learning from my stories of struggle and triumph. I wrote this book to leave a legacy to make the world a better place. You are part of my legacy. I know you’re going to help increase the quality of life on this planet every time you express your Authentic Self.
I’ll reveal the lessons I learned, and the triumphs I get to enjoy now. These are the same triumphs that are waiting for you to claim. They’re like sparkling diamonds hidden under layers of earth that will help you create a life filled with beauty and inner peace. All you have to do is open this book, and step onto the path of the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.
To determine if you’re a sensitive introvert, take the quiz at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com
I’ve chosen to tell my stories in the context of the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self because it helps me see the purposefulness of my suffering and your suffering. Tribulations can propel us in the direction of self-actualization, and that’s where we’re headed. We can use all of our mistakes to grow in wisdom.
To understand the definition of the Hero’s Journey, turn to chapter six.
You’ll learn about the following nine themes as you travel with me on my Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.
When sensitive introverts fall in love, we fall hard. We’re idealistic visionaries, and we can see the beautiful potential of a relationship. When we make commitments before we know the person well enough, we can be deeply disappointed. Sometimes we discover after the honeymoon that we’ve made a commitment to a mate who is (1) emotionally unavailable or (2) emotionally, verbally or physically abusive or (3) an addict. Some of us have trouble setting boundaries, even when we know we should. We ignore the red flags in favor of the ideal vision we see in our minds. If we’re hurt too much, we crawl into our turtle shell, and we don’t let anyone close.
We’ll take a good hard look at the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. You’ll learn to spot and stop abusive relationships, and hopefully prevent them in the first place. You’ll receive support to disengage from people who are emotionally unavailable, and heal the part of you that is unconsciously attracted to such a person.
2. Emotional Healing
I’ll share stories of how my mentors helped me heal childhood wounds and increase self-esteem so my dysfunctional patterns stopped spinning like a revolving door. My teachers helped me resolve grief and neutralize pain, so I could let go of the past. You can’t change the past, but you can change your relationship to it. I learned that difficult relationships were not just bad mistakes. They were my greatest teachers to help me uncover the unconscious patterns that damaged my life.
Now I am grounded in unshakeable wisdom that I wouldn’t embody if I had not fully engaged in the messy process of healing my wounds. I want to pass this wisdom on to you so you feel the strength that comes from feeling emotionally secure.
I didn’t navigate my Hero’s Journey alone. I needed help, and I suspect you do too, or you wouldn’t search for books like this. Wise mentors taught me how to face my fears and tame my dragons, which is a pre-requisite to claim the prize: Genuine emotional intimacy with your Authentic Self and the Holy Spirit. This is the most beautiful gift I have to offer you.
3. Your True Identity
During the first part of our lives, our well-intentioned parents and society steer us in the direction they think is best for us. Because Sensitive Introverts comprise only 17% of the population, it’s likely that many adults didn’t understand us or meet our core needs. We either conformed or rebelled against our authority figures.
Either way, we often arrive in our 30’s and 40’s without knowing our Authentic Self. We realize we’re not fully in touch with our true identity after several attempts to achieve our goals. People and circumstances don’t cooperate with us. We feel confused, lost, hurt or dismayed. Sometimes we feel hopeless and helpless. When we don’t know our true identity, we don’t feel grounded, and we can’t craft a truly meaningful life.
When we embark in the process of individuation, we learn how to discover our Authentic Self, manage our challenges, and recognize our valuable gifts. I’m going to help you uncover your true identity and cherish your uniqueness, even when others judge you. You’ll stop feeling like a misfit.
4. Emotional Intimacy with your Authentic Self
Many Sensitive Introverts thrive on emotional intimacy. For some of us, there’s nothing better. Before we can consistently co-create this exquisite experience in our relationships, we must cultivate emotional intimacy within ourselves. Even if a loving relationship doesn’t work out, or a business project fails, you have absolute control over choosing to love yourself unconditionally. External circumstances don’t have to dictate your happiness. This book will accelerate your ability to enjoy the fruits of self-acceptance, whether you succeed or fail.
5. Spiritual Intimacy
Self-love is rooted in spiritual intimacy. Without it, we feel a sense of emptiness, especially when things aren’t going our way. I’ll reveal the way I developed a deeply fulfilling relationship with my Sacred Inner Beloved, the romantic name that I give to the Holy Spirit. I can always go inside and meet my inner lover, and feel whole and complete. I’ll also tell stories of how I listen to my intuition, which I believe is my spirit, which is connected to the Holy Spirit.
In case you’re wondering, the spiritual healing methods I use are rooted in a Christian grace-filled theology. I honor all spiritual pathways that are based in unconditional love. I’ve been hurt by legalistic church people more than once, and if you have too, you’ll want to read these stories.
6. Meaningful Work
Sensitive Introverts are naturally creative and gifted. To optimize our contributions and enjoy health at the same time, we need work environments that support us. If you don’t work in a place that meets your needs, I know how stressful that can be. I’ll share some of my struggles, and how I summoned the courage to reach deep down inside myself to change the core beliefs that kept me imprisoned in limiting patterns.
I’ll encourage you to think outside the box so you can make the necessary changes to create meaningful work. Afterall, we give a third of our lives to work, and this time should be high quality, just like the rest of our lives.
7. Regeneration, Relaxation and Health
I don’t know about you, but I get tired every afternoon about 3:00pm. I think it’s pretty typical of Sensitive Introverts. I can push through the exhaustion, but that’s not a healthy life style. My body hurts, and irritability makes my voice sound harsh when I talk to customer service reps. I don’t like that. I want to feel peaceful, and I want to be patient with people.
I learned to meditate when I was a young adult, and I’m so glad I did. I’m eager to share the benefits of this easy-to-learn skill that will refresh your energy. With 30 minutes of daily meditation, you can eliminate emotional and physical pain, reduce anxiety, lift depression, and improve sleep. You get all these benefits without caffeine or other drugs.
8. Home as Sanctuary
For years I searched for a home that felt like my ideal sanctuary. I don’t mean just the building. The surrounding environment was essential as well. My Hero’s Journey led me to realize that the beauty of Nature lights up my spirit. It’s essential to my happiness. As I grew in my ability to make my dreams come true, I built several houses, two of which I designed. This has been one of the most exquisite experiences of my life. You may not love building houses like I do, but I imagine that a peaceful beautiful home is important to you.
9. Create Your Own Joy.
I encourage you to know what you want in all aspects of your life, and learn how to create it. I have a plaque in my kitchen that says, “Create your own joy. Some people will tell you that what you really want isn’t on the menu. Don’t you believe them!”
I hope my stories inspire you to search deep within yourself. I’ll help you connect with the deepest part of your spirit so all of your thoughts and words and deeds are informed by the highest wisdom.
As a licensed professional counselor, I’ll share proven psychological techniques to make your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self swifter and easier. I’ve helped thousands of people unfold their full potential over four decades.
If you would like to read some of my clients’ success stories, click on the testimonials tab at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.
If you want to create a deeply meaningful life as a Sensitive Introvert, do yourself a favor. Don’t let another day pass before you sit down with this book and your favorite cup of tea. I want to save you tons of heartache on your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self. I’ve cleared a path through the wilderness so you don’t have to claw your way through the brambles to discover your true nature. I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are extremely valuable in a troubled world that desperately needs your gifts.
So are you ready to begin? Let’s walk together as we embark on the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.
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(I plan to publish this book in June 2018. If you would like to receive a kindle ebook for the low price of .99 for a limited time only, please sign up for my email newsletter for Highly Sensitive People. I’ll keep you posted on my progression. See the sign-up form in the bottom left corner of this web page. Thanks!)
Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Life Coach and Spiritual Counselor. Please complete the Contact Page if you would like to schedule a free 10-minute get acquainted chat to see if my services are right for you. I offer individual and couple sessions on the phone, via videoconference and in the office. Atlanta and Blairsville, GA, USA.