|3 year old Marissa|
I had lived, at that time, 38 years of life in fear: of failing, not being good enough, not being pretty enough, being violated, being hurt, loving too hard, not being loved, being a burden, being afraid of being invisible, losing time and the life altering experiences I have had that many people don't know about. Living up to the ideal of "Marissa" was terrifying. My fear paralyzed me. But I wore many masks, all decorated to perfection WITH perfection. I have been a performer my entire life and "the world is a stage" took on a very literal meaning for me. If I "acted" like everything was ok and I was happy and healthy people will believe it, and it worked...and it was exhausting. To the point of a clinical severe exhaustion, that had been pre-disposed by years of anxiety and depression, that my adrenal glands said no more and I had to stop: everything. I couldn't work, I couldn't create, I couldn't even get off the couch for weeks...actually months and self care became my primary focus. My life literally depended on it.
I love my therapist. Truth be told I have been to a lot of crappy ones before I found her and have been with her for over 12 years. Now mostly just as a check in to share the beautiful space I am in. She has been a saving grace of clarity, hard questions, self accountability and guiding me to develop my own tools and healthy boundaries to heal the parts of me that were broken. Wounds that were inflicted, others that were self-inflicted, some that weren't even mine to carry and those I created that didn't even exist. Breaking patterns of generational trauma is even harder work. When you are surrounded by people who won't look at their own traumas and pain, addressing your own is a very lonely process but I also learned it is work you can only do for yourself. There were times I wanted those masks back but I had nothing to hide behind anymore. The more I started to fill myself up and love myself there was no going back. I remember asking her if I would ever get to a place where I wasn't processing traumas from my past and just be "normal" and live my life every day. Her response was, "You will. When you no longer allow yourself to be defined by your past and those experiences no longer define who you are in your present, you will find your peace." That day has come.
I always say I am going to create a t-shirt that says, "Acupuncture Saved My Life" because it has. I have been treating for 8 years and it has for sure played a huge role in my healing- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am grateful for my practitioners who have been patient with me, guided me and held space when I couldn't hold it for myself.
Meditation. The space I have created in my life that has been the greatest gift to me from me. My creative brain doesn't stop and I need that 20-30 minutes a day to be still, to be love, to be grateful, to be peace to wrap myself up in my own white light that I so freely give to others. The more I practice, the more those energies are carried into my every day life and existence.
The last 18 months I have stepped into that faith the universe put into my spirit. I faced many of my biggest fears, one very big one that was the foundation for ALL my fears and being able to deal with it showed me it never really had the power over me I had given it. The details of it are personal but not letting it have control over me changed everything. I have let go of what no longer serves me, those masks no longer exist, I have forgiven others, and myself, I have created healthy boundaries, and can say I truly fully love and accept myself for all that I am, and all that I am not.
In doing so I have been able to create my own non-profit 4C LAB, become the Creator/CEO of my own production company "De Mi Alma," create a TV Pilot "Two Feet In" that goes into production soon, a series of short films, choreography and I am utilizing my leadership, passion and gifts to inspire and create change on a larger scale than I had ever imagined and SO much more that is manifesting as I type. I am learning to balance my work, making time for living my life and people who mean the most- including myself.
I don't look my age, I know that, and I am grateful. I am the healthiest and happiest I have ever been. I have great genes, (have you seen my mother?!) but I will tell you the light and vibrancy comes when you shed the layers and allow your authentic self to shine through. I am not the size I was in my 20's, I have more curves and some added pounds but I have finally come to a place of accepting myself. I look at old pics of myself and sometimes I don't even recognize that girl. This woman I have become I know on a much stronger level.
|This is 40!|
To little Marissa- it was not your fault.
To teenage Marissa- it wasn't your responsibility to carry.
To 20's Marissa- it wasn't yours to fix.
To 30's Marissa- keep doing the work, it gets better.
To 40's Marissa- you are loved.
"And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears."