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Is It Poise or Poison?


“Too cool for school.” Raise your hand if you remember using that phrase when you were a kid. You know the kids I’m talking about…the ones who always wore the best brand name clothes, drove the fanciest cars, and sat at the “cool kids table” at lunch. I think we all knew of a clique of people like this growing up. When I look back on some of the kids I knew who were part of this group (and who weren’t very nice to me and several other classmates), I now know that, in many cases, these kids were dealing with deeper issues at home that they never let on about at school. Acting out or playing the “too cool for school” part was just a cover up; a way to make themselves feel better when what they really felt was devastation and loneliness.

There are adverse effects of coping with childhood trauma that surface in us as adults. We too think we are being COOL, but in fact, we also may be compensating or perpetuating a coping skill we used when we were kids. Children deal with issues ranging anywhere from being neglected to being severely abused and they will format what “drives” them as adults based on the programming their parents install/upload/download into their very open, ready to receive, eager to learn minds and bodies. It’s a “monkey see, monkey do” effect.Parents may sometimes underestimate the impact their presence, words, and actions have on their children. When you think they aren’t listening, nine times out of ten that’s when they are paying the most attention.

In my situation, I learned to live outside my body, learned to shut down and get lost in dance, music, acting, singing – anything that would take me “away” from thinking about what was really happening. The VIEW of me was, “Wow, look how creative she is, how talented she is”. No one knew, other than me, what was “really” going on underneath the surface. That’s why I ask, is it poise or poison?

We start to think that the “adapted” self is the real self, but in fact, the real self has been buried so deep under all the experiences that as adults we may find ourselves not even knowing WHO the heck we even are! Do you ever look into the mirror and feel unsure of who it is you even are anymore? I know I have felt like that many times. As our life experiences mold and shape our lives, it’s a gradual process until one day you have that “Ah-ha!” moment and realize that reflection in the mirror looks more like a stranger to you than the person you knew yourself to be.

Sometimes we create a false sense of security in hiding behind the veneer of poise – trained by our past experiences we think we are better off to “fake it till we make it”. While that might be okay for a little while to coast through the most trying of times, it is not the best way to spend the rest of our lives. To deny our inner divine selves from being fully expressed is like not unwrapping the first gift we were given by God, our own lives. When we deny ourselves this gift, this blessing – leaving it unwrapped, we are doing a disservice to our own destiny to serve on this planet. The question becomes “If we can’t fully be ourselves, how can we help others?”.

I believe that we feel we have more control when we stay exactly the way we are and keep things exactly the way they always were. It’s what we know best. This is our comfort zone, why would we ever want to leave? I mean, it’s worked well for us this far, right?

But over time what we think is our poise is really toxic and slowly transforms into poison.  It’s the result of not addressing the deeper causes and unaddressed negative thinking related to old anger, fear, pain, and shame. When addressed, and when the process of recovery and healing can start, we can achieve true poise, one that’s based in power, peace, and presence. I know all too well how difficult this process is; how hard it can be to make the decision to stand up and say “enough is enough.” But I also know how rewarding it can feel when you take back your power and head out on your journey of self-exploration, healing, and recovery. I could speak for days on this topic, but for now, I want to leave you with these few points to think about:

I am not a product of what has happened in my past; I am filled with the energy and power I need to truly become who I was created to be.

 I can look in the mirror and be confident that the person staring back at me is destined for greatness.

 I am not the sum of the negative things that I have endured; I am a survivor, I am strong, I am loved.


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