My Secret To Happiness? I Live 3 Lives…
I have a mentor or sorts…someone who has stepped up to the task of showing up for me time and time again, over the past 16 years. He started out as my homeopath, but quickly became a teacher to me on all things personal development-wise.
I was 19 years old, and struggling with gut issues beyond belief. The work we did on the body was a small piece of the puzzle. Mostly, we began to work on developing my acute awareness of what I needed in all areas of my life, in order to feel calm, at peace, balanced and secure. Security especially, because I felt an immense amount of fear of abandonment due to my traumatic history with my biological mother.
So! We worked on what he called The Practical Spirituality course. I identified my needs in the areas of personal happiness, physical well-being, family, friends, spirituality, work, financial etc. I felt completely confused, and lost at times – no one had ever asked me to develop opinions on my needs before. I was literally just coasting through life until that point, dealing with issues as they arose or as I created them. Definitely in a ‘reactive’ state mostly, vs a creative state.
Instead of running away and shutting my workbooks closed (as I desperately wanted to), I faced my fears and discomfort and continued to become more and more aware of my needs as an individual, with the hopes of finding emotional freedom and fulfillment.
Well, it’s 16 years later and I am still developing those lists. In each stage of my awareness, I’ve felt increasingly empowered and connected to my true self. Though, one downside to it all has been my expectations on others to have the same level of awareness, and/or share the same willingness to talk about all of, what I believe to be, beautiful nuances of each category.
As I struggled with feeling more inspired and in-love with myself and life, though also feeling disconnected from my family, friends and partner, I reached out to my mentor with the question “Why can’t I find someone who is as open to hearing all of my thoughts, lessons, passions on life, without judgement, like you do?” – The answer he gave me was again, like all new lessons for me, confusing as f*ck.
He said “We live 3 lives, Cassandra. An intimate life, a personal life, and a public life. You need to learn how each one interacts with your own situation. For example, some of these spiritual lessons and opinions of life are intimate, and to be cherished or kept within yourself. Your personal life is the life you share with your partner, family and friends. The conversations, and information you exchange within those relationships are different than the ones you share with yourself in your intimate relationship with Self. Develop awareness of what those conversations may look like, how would they be rewarding and enriching for both parties? And last, there’s your public life; the information you share with people such as co-workers, acquaintances, and on social media, must be filtered and shared consciously. The information you have inside that is meant for your intimate self, and personal relationships may not be appropriate for the public.”
This took time for me to absorb. It takes a lot of brain power (at first) to sift through thoughts and the desire to share with someone before doing so.
Though, like all inner work, with practise – it comes.
The reason this has helped me achieve levels of satisfaction, peace and happiness I didn’t have in the past is that I feel I know now what to expect from others in terms of reactions and interactions when exchanging information. I also am not leaving myself vulnerable to being let down or feeling disconnected to those I want to feel connected to (a sure fire way to create issues in someone who has a tendency to self-medicate and feel depressed).
It can also create richer relationships, as your partner, friends, or family members may not feel an unrealistic pressure from you to participate or ‘get you’.
My Intimate Life with myself is the way I practise loving and liking myself. It’s an experience that no one can take from me, or break. It is beautiful, light, deep and ever-evolving.
My Personal Life with my family and friends is curated, and thoughtful. I believe they can tell I am conscious of their needs and happy to give it to them, and am also fiercely aware of my own and am not afraid to ask for them. This helps to build trust, safety, intimacy and a feeling of freedom between each of us.
My Public Life is well thought out. The information, stories and support I share with the public is always filtered and intentional. My aim is to inspire, break the cycle of shame and unconsciousness and be brave enough to share my hardships so others hopefully won’t feel alone. It is never to get recognition or a pat on the back. It was key for me to learn my intention while sharing with the public, as not to expect acceptance in exchange for myself – but to expect nothing in hopes to enrich someone else’s experience.
I hope this entry may help you to also develop a laser sharp awareness of who you are and in relation to each type of relationship you have so that you can let go of expectations that don’t serve you, and move through life with fulfillment and an ease that you never have before.
In good health + happiness,