HOW THE FEAR AND SELF-JUDGMENT LED ME TO BECOME AN AUTHOR OF MY LIFE
I remember myself as a little girl with huge scared, sad eyes.
Fear and sadness were the leading emotions for most of my life.
Starting with fear that something terrible might happen, up to fear to talk, be seen or heard, make mistakes, be rejected or abandoned, judged, and laughed at.
These fears kept me in the shell of self-judgment and loneliness; that’s why I had a deeply rooted sadness – a faithful companion for many years.
For most of my childhood, I spent time with my grandma. (My parents were working hard, and it was common for grandparents to step in for childcare).
I was taught to be “a good girl”: to be silent, obey without complaining, stay away from people and trouble, and keep calm.
So you can picture a timid, fearful, and lonely child who would look for refuge in the fantasy world.
I immersed myself in books (my grandma taught me to read when I was four) and the games I invented myself.
I imagined myself being a nun or living alone in the midst of nature when I grow up.
“- She is hypersensitive like a flower in the greenhouse,”- my parents would say at the time. And this was not a compliment, rather a disadvantage.
Indeed, I used to cry a lot, felt fragile and different from the other kids I knew, which caused a lot of suffering.
I was bullied in school for being “weird”: calm, shy, well mannered, curious, and coming from a family that struggled with financial issues.
I was considered chubby and of no interest at all to the “high” class level of classmates who seemed to be so special – good looking, cool, smart, or rich.
Like an “ugly duckling,” I felt stupid and repugnant.
Have you ever in your life felt like "an ugly duckling"?
In general, studying at school was not joyful at all. I found it forceful, stressful, and challenging, and that’s why I considered myself a failure.
Until 11 years, I grew up in the Soviet regime where one was expected to be “normal”: invisible, following all the possible restrictions, satisfied when succeeding to arrange the necessary things needed for survival, and having one’s mouth tightly shut.
Today I see how facing this conflict of being seen as “weird” and expected to be “normal,” I learned to keep everything inside and to hide – to stay low, where I thought I belonged.
That seemed quite normal until the adolescent rebellion showed up.
This period “colored” my life with new dramas: inner attacks of anger (that I worked hard to suppress), a need to secretly break the rules, a huge hatred for my feminine body, frequent thoughts about death because I was “a freak” that found no meaning nor place in this world that seemed to be quite a cold and dangerous place to live in.
Finally, when an adolescent rebel turned into a young woman, the safest way seemed to conform to “normality” and follow others.
I was not aware of my abilities and qualities that would make me feel good and indicate my own life path.
I didn’t know what I wanted, what might have been the purpose worth enough to follow. I had no vision and no course in life.
So I simply drifted, following the choices of my friends.
“What am I doing here? But if not this, what else could I do!” – were the questions that kept popping up on my mind each time I found myself involved in something I didn’t like.
I lived with these questions for many years. They kept reappearing again and again, whatever I chose to do because the choices were not coming from my own being. They were copied.
Soon enough, I convinced myself that people-pleasing and meeting the standards of “being good” was quite an effective way to avoid problems and create what I considered to be the meaning in life.
Pleasing, hiding, or escaping the conflicts were my ways to manage my life and to feel accepted as a responsible, good, and trustworthy person.
Do you know what it is like to undervalue or ignore your own needs or feelings and simply do what you think needs to be done or what others expect from you?
It might seem an excellent way to live that is based on altruism, sacrifice, and putting others first. Yet, somewhere deep inside, there was a feeling that this was not genuine. This didn’t feel like MY life. I had a sense that I knew little about my true self and felt that there was so much more to be discovered…
I felt the need to create something totally different – to explore myself, life, and the world on my own, away from my family, country, and everything I knew.
I craved external freedom hoping to find myself and my happiness somewhere out in the world and one day, right before finishing my first Master’s Degree (Art history, theory, and critics), suddenly, I found the way.
As usual, I remember reading a daily journal and looking for some social-help activities to offer my voluntary support.
Suddenly I stumbled upon an application form for the European Union voluntary work program.
That struck me: – “This is it! This is the opportunity I was craving for!
I was afraid, yet had no doubts: “This meant – GO!”
The moment I stepped into this new adventure, it became my starting point for the life I had never imagined before.
(Voluntary work took me to Portugal – the project dedicated to the kids from socially vulnerable families).
Over the years that followed, this decision opened “a new world” to me in so many ways: new culture and mentality, a new language, a lot of connections and friends from all over the world, art therapy and body-oriented psychotherapy studies and work, the discovery of my real interests and abilities and finally, marriage.
Portugal was my life laboratory.
For the first time, I deeply engaged myself in exploring my likes and dislikes, my abilities and capacities that I have never imagined having or being able to develop.
I focused on my role as a wife, on creating relationships, and being purposefully active in my life, making my own life in a foreign country.
I worked hard to create value in my life as I understood it – based on DOING, on hard effort, proving myself worthy and significant.
And that functioned well for some time.
Everything became an opportunity to learn.
One of the most significant discoveries I made about myself was the mindset of a constant learner and an active change maker.
My curiosity and deep aspiration for inner freedom led me to build sustainable baggage of knowledge and experiences that put foundations for owning my life and helping others do the same later on in my life.
Instead of self-pity and feeling miserable when something seemed hard or facing a constant lack of money, I shifted my focus.
In any given situation, my guide was a question: “- What do I need, and what can I do?” And I focused on looking for resources and creating possibilities.
I found out I could do and create quite a lot…
I learned Portuguese to a level where I could become an interpreter.
I invented a “hundred different ways” to earn money: I made Ghi butter and sold jam, cleaned apartments, learned to give massages, offered psychotherapy sessions and led seminars, translated documents, created artisanal jewelry and pieces of interior design – wool mandalas.
Always spinning around, always in action!
The more I did, the more worthy I felt.
But after a while, tired of this way of life, I realized that so much constant effort didn’t bring me abundance, happiness, or a sense of freedom.
Something was missing – something essential. But I didn’t know what.
I felt tired, unhappy, tense, and stressed, asking myself what I was doing here again…
I’ve got a spinal hernia that caused me a lot of pain; my marriage felt dramatic because of the totally different ways we saw our relationship, life together, and the world…
I didn’t feel loved, needed, and valued.
Does it resonate with you?
Much later, I realized that I was living a set of the old patterns of self-judgment and DOING over BEING that I’ve learned from my parents and my grandma.
I worked hard to implement and follow the deeply installed rules and frameworks of who I should be and how I should live, and how my marriage should look like.
Looking for ways to explore myself deeper, feel happier, and more fulfilled, I was intuitively driven to the Tibetan Buddhist Tantrayana center.
This turned out to be a leap of quality in my inner life.
I fully engaged in the teachings and practices, became a Lama Tulku Lobsang’s student, and found a circle of like-minded people.
Innumerous lessons, seminars, retreats, and group practices brought me profound experiences and insights about myself, my life, and my core needs.
I learned self-help techniques to work on my body and mind and develop a healthy mindset that helped to deal with diverse emotional states, stress and overdramatizing.
I learned what it was to be authentic, aware, and present in my life and relationships, giving value and taking care of my real needs.
I realized that first, I need to have compassion for myself and learn to create my own happiness. I discovered self-acceptance and self-love.
A new challenging purpose appeared in my mind – to invest even more in myself and to get licensed in Tibetan healing Yoga, Tibetan Sword practice, Mindfulness, and Buddhist psychology.
-“Since it helped me, it might help others too,” – I thought.
And I made all of that happen: arranged amounts of money that seemed crazy at the time, studied in Portuguese, went to Germany to pass exams in English.
This felt mind-blowing! -“I know what I want, and I am able to do whatever I want!” – I stated with pride and joy.
I felt making leaps and growing, yet my marriage was falling apart.
I realized that I had overgrown it, that this relationship came to its end.
Fear knocked at the door: -“What will you do? Where will you go? How will you manage to live alone?“
I invoked all the self-support methods that I’ve learned. Finally, I decided to get divorced and get back to Lithuania, whatever the consequences.
So I moved on with the plan, which became the start of a new life period that could serve for writing a book – an inspiring one, full of amazing discoveries, creative projects for women, inspiring life coaching studies, healing transformations, and falling in love… 😉
Were there moments when I felt exhausted, stressed, scared, broken, angry, and overwhelmed? Sure! (And there still are.)
But I was aware of them as the pauses and tests that were part of the process.
As long as I was aware of them and accepted them as a part of my path, I was able to learn from them and grow; they empowered me to make another choice – outside the habitual “life script” and move on.
Having spent a big part of my life scared and mistreating myself, I finally realized that I was responsible for my attitude towards myself and my life.
And that my own attitude was of utmost importance and impact to the quality of my life taking me from fear to courage, from escaping to facing, from a sense of lack to resourcefulness, from self-judgment to self-love and care, from victim to self-leader.
Even amid all the diverse challenges, I learned to find the inner and outer resources, to stay aware and face my life as a process of growth creating my own way that makes me feel enthusiastic, enriched and fulfilled.
I learned that being myself I unfold my uniqueness as an author of the story of my life that I can sign with joy and confidence.
These days, I know that everything that happens in life is the stage for self-discovery, self-realization, and growth. There’s never a lack of time or conditions, never too early or too late to live your life that you can call your own.
As long as we are alive and conscious, we are the only ones responsible for our lives. When we activate self-love and self-care, everything becomes possible.
And because of this, it’s now my mission to support others towards knowing, accepting, and taking care of themselves, living authentic relationships, and creating a unique, inspiring life path that brings happiness and fulfillment.
So if you’re ready to let go of the belief that the other people or circumstances are responsible for your life and that there’s nothing you can do to change the way you feel and how you treat yourself, drop me a message!