shape shifter

Our Peloton yoga instructor for today (recorded yesterday) really got deep. She talked about how past issues can come up and “trigger” us. She spoke of abandonment and rejection. And she talked about how we’re trained in life to externally seek validation. Looking for worthiness in others’ eyes, so we can receive the gifts of acceptance and love (from them). Yes, it’s important to have a “tribe” of people for support as we navigate this challenging and unpredictable thing called life. But if we can only find validation from external sources, then that leaves us in a precarious position. She said, and this is a direct quote,

Life gets easier when you are better to yourself.

My worth and value is not determined by others. I am of worth because I exist. That was the instructor’s core message. And, if I am constantly seeking worthiness from others, then I essentially become a shape shifter. Doing and being whatever and whoever I feel I need to be in order to receive validation from others.

I left “the socials” a long while ago largely because I found myself either battling envy and thinking everyone else had a better existence that me, or becoming a shape shifter, so I could get the likes and the comments to support my idea that I am enough and worthy of others’ recognition.

Everyone is born looking for someone looking for them.” – Dr. Curt Thompson.
Everyone needs to be seen, soothed, safe, and secure.” – Dr. Dan Siegel.

How can I meet these needs, for myself? Children cannot. As children, we can only regulate our emotions with the help of another. This is something we must receive from our caregivers and learn to do for ourselves over time. As a child, I did not see that person looking for me – not consistently. I didn’t receive those other 4 needs in a reliable manner. I did not develop secure attachment. I did not know how to practice healthy self-care. I learned to be a shape shifter. It’s interesting that as I’m practicing yoga moves to strengthen my physical core, I’m also practicing ways to strengthen my emotional core. I’m becoming more integrated – mind and body.

I’ll always need to be seen and known by others. That’s human. We are not, truly, individuals. We need others in order to continue existing. But I’m learning how to see myself with open eyes, and with kindness and compassion. I’m learning to self-soothe. I’m learning that I am safe and secure. And yoga helps!

I’m also learning scripture verses that help. Psalm 139:4 is an awesome one.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well

Another one I like to pray often is at the end of Psalm 139 (verses 23-24)

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

How about you? Do you find yourself being a shape shifter? How do you navigate the world in a way that is authentic for you?

4 thoughts on “shape shifter

  1. Emily Yvonne

    Glad you brought scripture into the picture at the end! I got worried there for a minute you had gone new-age self-centered all of a sudden! 😅

    Remembering we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God is such an important thing. When I lose sight of that, I start looking for worth outside of who Christ made me to be physically and who He has made me to be spiritually through His Son. I was definitely a shape shifter in high school. I didn’t realize it then but looking back now I can see it. Constantly searching for validation. I’m much less likely to do that now. Especially recently! My worth and joy is secure. There has been so much growth in my life. So grateful for the tribe around me who points me back to Christ and loves me as I am! We need that to survive this world!! Otherwise we are constantly bombarded by messages trying to tell us we need to be different or better. Self improvement is good…but not at the expense of who you ARE.

    Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person


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