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I don’t know about you, but I’m on a learning roll. Studying, reading, taking notes, listening to podcasts, growing. A couple of years ago I remember feeling I had finally gotten to know myself completely, loving all my good and wacky parts, accepting all the dark and somber sides.

It was november 2016 and I was living in Toronto. Working nightshifts at a factory, taking tram train bus three hours a day to get to and from work. Sleeping in two hour naps always feeling kinda blurry and jetlagged, never fully awake. Writing the free hours away in my little room near Trinity Bellwoods Park. It was there and then that I decided I loved myself.

It had only taken me 27 years to get to that place. A place where I finally felt comfortable with myself. All of myself. The wobbly bits, hormonal madness, moods, ecstatic hights and deep down lows, nostalgia, weirdness, darkness. I embraced it all, even more: I LOVED it all.

For most of the past years I’ve been a single woman travelling around the world trying to find a home in different countries, building up new lives wherever my feet would touch the ground for more than a month. Of course I learned there were even more parts that make up the puzzle that is me. And again, I welcomed them all.

But now I find myself in a relationship. This is a whole new story. I live with a fabulous man who holds a fantastically precise mirror of myself. More than I could ever dream of, that mirror is often showing me things I don’t want to see. I thought I did the journeying, the accepting, the loving. Now I know: I’ve just been hiding. Tucking the dark and dirty parts in little secret corners, under rugs, stored in the dusty attic. Locked up a hundred times to make sure no one, not even me, would get into the nitty gritty of my darkness.

In waltzes my love, holding a bundle of a hundred keys to all the locks. Turning every day into a new journey of learning and growing. Of staring in that mirror and seeing all the neatly tucked away things float up to the surface. No escaping from myself now. I tried, of course, because there are plenty of ways I can procrastinate on working on myself. But eventually, I will keep on seeing those same dark spots and they will only grow bigger.

So I decided to put them in the spotlight and deal with them, dive in, try and understand where they’re coming from. I’ve been signing up for courses and workshops that put me on the spot. Just me and my naked vulnerability, and tools to work on parts of myself that I have been ashamed of, embarassed, scared, hiding, ignoring, neglecting.

Welcoming them in and instead of pretending to accept them and forget about them, actually showing up and doing the work. I’m expecting it to be ugly, shedding tears as I let go of the things I’ve been holding on to for far too long. Some of the stuff has been bubbling up in my morning pages and more will rise to the surface as I learn to use the tools and live with my ultimate teacher holding up his mirror.

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