For so many years I  believed that I was not worthy of great things, of passion, or even of happiness. I existed on the periphery of belonging, feeling isolated and disconnected.  I tried becoming what I thought others wanted me to be in an effort to fit in, but it never felt right.

I played small in my world, helping others achieve their dreams and living vicariously through their successes.  I understood deeply the gift of giving, and everything I chose was about helping others. And while that gave me great satisfaction, I still felt incomplete.

I didn’t see then that I was firmly ensconced in resistance.  I had allowed myself to shrink at every suggestion that either crossed my mind or was aimed at me, and was invariably ready with an excuse for why I couldn’t dare.  Such is the power of a passing thought or comment to create havoc in a mind where no quiet can be found.  I had given my power to my fear, fully expecting the world to be as harsh a judge as the critic in my own mind.

After more than twenty years of being weighed down by the agony of unacknowledged passion, I’d finally had enough of  hiding and was beginning to awaken to the possibilities before me.  In the stillness, I could hear my soul clamouring for freedom, adventure, and for the unsuppressed expression of who I am.

Then one day it dawned on me  that for all those years,  I had yearned for people to accept me when I had not yet learned to fully accept myself.

Even once I found the courage to forge a new path and began  embracing the concepts of honouring myself, trusting myself, loving myself , and being myself, my fears still continued to test me. “Who do you think you are?” they asked. “What will people think?  For so long, I’d forgotten that I was in charge of my mind, and not the other way around. Taking back the reins of my thought was a daily challenge, but one I had to rise to if I was going to move forward in my life.

 The Universe is always conspiring to help us achieve, but we each still have to be willing to do our part.

I had finally come to a place in my life where I was not only willing to pay attention to the signs, but I was also willing to take unequivocal action in the direction they pointed.  Doors appeared as I advanced toward them and all I had to do was to choose to walk through them.

Guided by my inner voice, I began to see life with a new clarity. I stopped taking myself so seriously, embraced my carefree nature, let go of the struggle to fit in, and began living from my truth.

I watched as…

I no longer needed to seek outside myself for recognition.

In letting go of judgment and embracing all aspects of me, the healing that comes with self-acceptance rippled through my life. 

 I learned to love those parts of me that I once hated, knowing they were there to help me; perpetually pointing me in the direction I needed to grow. I learned to be vulnerable and delighted in the discovery that my willingness to be so,  inspired others to open to me.  

I marvelled at the change and delighted in the understanding that every moment of my life has presented me  with exactly what i needed to tune my awareness.  The people and the places I had moved toward in the past, were there to teach me to make different choices that would lead me to  choose me.

With that gentle reframe and a heart full of gratitude, I began to make choices from the authentic core of who I am.

I opened to old friends and new, with ease and with grace.  In learning to accept myself, I also became more accepting of others, and past conflicts simply melted away because I was no longer willing to play a part in them.

Those who see the light in me and appreciate me for who I am, naturally gravitate toward me, as I do them.  Now I flourish in relationships that nourish me and respect differences, where communication is open, and there is unconditional freedom to be and to share without fear of judgment. 

Today, I am living my dreams and honouring who I am, allowing myself to be guided by the wisdom of my own inner light. It is in having the courage to give the gift of our authentic selves to the world, that we find our joy, and we finally find our tribe.

Tips for Tapping Into The Joy of Being YOU



Please share your comments below and feel free to contribute any additional tips for self-love and acceptance.

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26 Responses to The Joy of Being Me

  1. Melissa Rapoport says:

    “In letting go of judgment and embracing all aspects of me, the healing that comes with self-acceptance rippled through my life.”

    Shelley, this resonates so loudly. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly and beautifully. The perfect way to start the day!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Melissa. I’ve learned that having the courage to be open and vulnerable truly creates authentic connection. I am grateful you’re sharing my journey with me ((hugs))

  2. Suzie Cheel says:

    Love your tweets especial this one Stop comparing yourself to others – You are amazing just the way you are. I have embraced that recently, thanks

  3. Leigh Burton says:

    Wonderful. I really like it. Thank you.

  4. laura Clark ~ Your Soul Wise Living Mentor says:

    Agreed. Judgment is a powerful STOPPING force in our lives. Yet, it is a natural inclination of our ego selves. Recognizing it and releasing it allows us to access our own inner wisdom and go forth in our own power and love!

  5. Sheila Callaham says:

    Oh my goodness, what a beautiful post!! Every word was deliciously impactful and every line was tweetable! This line really resonated with me: “I understood deeply the gift of giving, and everything I chose was about helping others. And while that gave me great satisfaction, I still felt incomplete.” Yep, been there too. I love when we finally hear the call of our inner voice and actually listen! My inner voice is my best friend, my absolute biggest cheerleader, my most dependable mentor. Thanks for sharing your powerful story, Shelley — it’s one of your all-time bests! <3

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Sheila! It is so freeing when we learn to listen to our inner voice and allow it’s whispers to drown out our ego voice. I am so glad your journey is now guided by your best friend and most dependable mentor! It will never lead you astray! ((hugs))

  6. Tae says:

    Shelley, this is a wonderful post! So many of your words resonated with me, but especially “I had yearned for people to accept me when I had not yet learned to fully accept myself.” We can be so hard on ourselves & learning self-acceptance is critical to our joy in life. Thanks for sharing so openly. <3

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thanks, Tae. It took me such a long time to see the truth and to step into my power. When we have the courage to share openly with one another, we truly create authentic connection as we walk each other home. <3

  7. Puja Madan says:

    This is so beautiful and touching Shelley. I feel I spent many years of my life this way too – feeling isolated and disconnected. I love your courage for stepping into your true, authentic self and sharing your story here. So much love coming your way! xo

  8. Andrea says:

    Thank you for a lovely post. I especially appreciate (and agree with) your last suggestion: practice gratitude. You’re right — there’s always something to appreciate!

  9. Peggy says:

    Love your message because like you, I love being me! Loved all the tweetables, too! Rock on dear friend!!

  10. Kelley Grimes says:

    Beautiful article! I so believe our path is to embrace all of ourselves and come from an open hearted, compassionate and nurturing place within ourselves first so that we can authentically share it with the world. Being grateful for being ourselves gives permission and encouragement for those around us to themselves and creates amazing ripple effects in our lives! Thank you!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Kelly. Your words are so full of wisdom. And yes, by truly embracing who we are we create a beautiful ripple effect as others do the same. Thank you for being a shining example in my life. ((hugs))

  11. says:

    Beautiful post Shelley. The journey from feeling “not worthy of great things” to accepting and loving ourselves is powerful. It’s amazing how our lives shift and our gifts show up when we allow our inner light to shine, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your message and your inspirational words! xo

  12. Natasha Botkin says:

    Beautifully written. I understand so much of this, I call mine wearing a cloak of invisbility. Thank you for your gentle reminders of being true.

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Ah yes.. the cloak of invisibility. I’m glad I took off mine and stand glorious in the mantle of my Light xo

  13. Anonymous says:

    Blessed with your wonderful friendship
    I’m writing this note to say I care
    Moments of sharing our daily lives
    In letters and emails we now share

    Sometimes just to say hi
    Writing of times; happy or sad
    We always write and send a reply
    Sharing life makes me so glad

    Sharing is the answer
    God’s blessings is friendships delight
    Thank you dear friend for sharing and caring
    Exchanging ideas with love and thought seem so right.

    ©Joyce Ann Geyer

  14. Sue says:

    Thank you for your post! I feel as if you wrote this about me! I have recently been on a journey to self-acceptance, to stop looking to others for validation and being small! I love the quotes. They really say it all!

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