I had a really amazing time in my cycling class this week. We were pedaling hard, and the instructor said that we were coming into our last hill. The instructor said, “Give yourself a pep talk.” So, I began to tell myself that I can do it… and it was pretty amazing– for the first time, I imagined looking at myself in the mirror, and I actually saw myself in the mirror in my mind. This was huge for me! Before, whenever I pictured myself in the mirror I often saw a blank slate… like an amorphous figure of myself. Or, I saw other people. Or, I saw other people’s versions of me. Or, I saw a white persona in an Asian person’s body. But for the first time I was able to look in the mirror and look into my own eyes and see me… and feel happy with what I saw.
I think there are multiple reasons why I am at this beautiful place in my life where I can finally do this. I think I received a lot of closure when I met my birth family last year. I used to be afraid of needing that reunion because there were so many who never get that opportunity (myself included until last year). So, I thought as a life rule, I should just learn to live like it didn’t matter to me. But after meeting them and finding out they were eager to meet me, I can see how powerful the love and acceptance of a family can be to a person’s sense of self worth and self esteem.
I think that all the personal work that I did over the past year after reuniting with my birth family also really paid off dividends. I’ve been getting to know myself. I’ve been exploring different aspects of myself and deeply pursuing things that I love. And I finally feel like in picturing myself in the mirror, I know who I am and what I look like because I’m living it right now. I am finally confident and happy enough in the person who I am at the present moment to be able to look myself in the eyes and be proud of what I see in the mirror. And that’s pretty amazing.
I’ve been connecting with others more and more. This journey began a year and a half ago when I started acupuncture. My acupuncturist said that the needle points open up any trapped energy so that things can flow freely. And that’s exactly how I’ve felt when it comes to my thought patterns. After starting acupuncture, I’ve been able to get out of my own thoughts more and take on others’ perspectives. And, I’ve been able to connect with people so much more. Acupuncture combined with just being brave enough to open up to people. As I’ve been opening up and connecting with others more, I am gaining more awareness of who I am as a person.
I’ve also been doing a lot of personal work to differentiate myself within the contexts of my relationships– with my spouse, with my adoptive family, with my birth family, with my friends. I’ve been figuring out who I am as an individual and within these relationships. It’s all good stuff.
Just thinking out loud :)
Cheers to seeing who you truly are! I’m rooting for you!