Self-love and self-acceptance - and finding it with issues of self-identity
Updated: Mar 8
This blog is a different kind of post to the ones I usually write - so I need to put up a disclaimer - this post discusses issues of family and sexual violence, and of Aboriginal people who have returned to the Earth. This post also discusses issues of longing to return home when you don't even know where home is. For anyone who may find difficulty in the issues discussed in this post please call the Lifeline crisis hotline on 131114 or PM me to discuss other suitable services in your area.
I was on my morning walk this morning and stopped by a billabong - and instantly burst into tears. I found myself begging to go home - not even knowing where home is. I am not a person who cries easily so this really took me back. I found the timing interesting too because I have had a few health issues recently and spiritually / emotionally these issues are all connected to self-love. Now I am a person who does and has always done a lot of self work, and I consider myself pretty grounded with a good sense of who I am and treat myself with love and respect - but where I come from is a very different story. I long to go home and I don't even know where home is.
Self love and self acceptance is a journey we all go on - and this journey is a long and ever evolving one. I have been on this journey since childhood and have wondered if I will ever reach a point when I can look in the mirror and truly say I love me. I mean, I really like being the person I am and I feel like I am in a really great place of self-acceptance. I don't get offended easily and I try and understand people instead of taking things to heart. I truly love other people and learning about them and I also love learning about myself. But there has always been a big piece of my soul that is missing and until I find it I honestly don't know if I will ever truly love or accept myself.
How can you truly love yourself when you question your sense of self or place in the world.
To give this post some context, I have spent my life trying to understand where I came from. My grandfather found out he was Aboriginal and adopted when he was 58. For his own reasons he did not seek to find the truth about where he came from when he was still alive, but on his death bed he asked his family to find his birth mum. This request would send the entire family - all following generations - on an eternal quest to find his mum, his mob and his country - and try in some way to bring peace and closure to everyone involved. This has left us all with issues of self-identity and an endless yearning to know - "who am I and where do I come from?"
When we found his birth mum she came with a history of abuse and oppression. She was estranged from her abusive, alcoholic husband, she had been murdered alongside a police superintendent who was seemingly bribing her with sexual favours in return for her welfare payments, she had been shunned by the community she lived in for being black and being a sole parent, and she had lived a life knowing men held power over women, and a man's hands weren't friendly. She had also suffered under the cruel judgements of society and being part of a considered lesser class of that society. This theme has carried on through the generations and along with it a reluctance to openly discuss these issues but to instead sweep them under the carpet and keep your head held high. This approach has unfortunately perpetuated a life of secrets and mysteries I may never get answers to. Still to this day, no one has been held accountable for my GG's death. She was buried in an unmarked grave and several graves were placed over the top of hers. There were no identifying features left to acknowledge her final resting place, and if not for a series of "coincidences" we may never have found her at all.
The biggest challenge to this mystery puzzle is that we don't know who our Grandfather's birth father is and we are still on that journey to find out. And while we have been told by Elders who our mob is we have yet to reconcile with our GG's family, and country. I know deep down the day will come and great healing will happen because of this but until then I am left with the feeling that a very big part of me is missing and because of this I struggle with my identity and feelings of self love and self acceptance -because I still feel like I don't truly know who I am. How can you know who you are if you don't know where you came from?
I continue to search for the truth and have been lucky to be guided by spirit throughout my journey. I have had many serendipitous meetings and coincidental findings along the way, but still dont have all the puzzle pieces I need for the whole picture. We are hoping through recent searches that we may finally know the name of the birth father of our grandfather, so as to find clues to our GG's earlier life and the path to Grandpa's creation and adoption. I know when the time is right there will be no stopping that family reunion, but until that day I acknowledge there is a piece of me I long to find and a home I can't wait to return to - even though I have never been there.
The struggle in the mean time is learning to love myself just as I am right now. I acknowledge that it is a slow process, and of course an ever-evolving one, but naming where I am right now has been helpful in finding a way forward. Instead of suggesting great resources as I normally do, I would love to hear the resources you have used if you have found yourself in a similar place to where I am. Please feel free to pop your suggestions in the comments below: