Looking back all those years ago, I wonder if you can see the mask that I was wearing.
I was so sad and that weak smile wasn’t really masking the sadness I felt inside.
I did my best to stay busy caring for others without a care for my own well-being. I thought that in my busy-ness, I would be able to hide my true emotions. I thought that if I kept busy caring for others, maybe I would feel worthy.
Maybe, if I ‘acted’ happy I might be able to hide my true feelings and “act as if” all was ok.
I know that I’m not alone in this, as you can relate to aspects of learning to hide your true authentic self.
Yet once again, I felt as though I did not belong.
I traveled. I married. We traveled some more.
And then we were blessed to be expecting a baby, only to lose that baby to miscarriage and four more after that.
I came to realize that my dream of motherhood was not meant to be.
Once again, I put on a brave face, masking my sadness with a smile.
What emotional masks do you wear?
- Maybe its one of being overly confident to hide your own insecurities;
- Maybe, like me, you hide your sadness with a smile;
- Or you may surround yourself with people to ‘prove to yourself’ that you do belong.
Does this feel familiar? As women without children, we often feel invisible in communities of grandmothers, mothers and children and through wearing our own emotional masks, we feel we protect ourselves in the best way we know how, by covering up our feelings of unworthiness.
Healing my own wounds of unworthiness were a big part of my journey.
I felt so much shame in that I couldn’t give my husband children or our parents, grandchildren.
I would see moms with pregnant bellies, and spiral into my own self-pity. The world around me appeared to be filled with mothers and babies and in the midst of it all, I felt invisible.
There came a time though that I felt so lost and finally reached the point of surrender. I would do whatever I had to do, to find myself again.
Here are five things I learned when I finally chose to remove my masks.
- I found so much freedom when I finally began to share my story.
- I found a deep sense of inner peace in learning to grieve my baby and motherhood loss in a healthy way.
- I found healing in community, knowing that I had a space of belonging.
- I found compassion from others in the most unexpected places.
- I found joy in coming back home to my self, in remembering my own self-worth.
When you begin to trust your heart and remove your emotional masks, you will.
Confidently learn to take up space.
Activate a sacred remembrance, remembering that you are whole, even in your sadness.
Remember that you belong and that you are worthy!
You will even learn how necessary grief work is, even years after baby loss or the loss of motherhood.
YOU WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORTHY.