Fuck That • Authenticity + Healing
In today’s post, I want to discuss learning to use illness and rock bottoms to get closer to, rather than further away from, your authentic self. Before we get into that, here’s a health update for anyone interested:
Those of you following along with my health journey on Instagram may already know that I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos, chronic EBV, adrenal fatigue, slight hypothyroidism, parasites, and low testosterone. I’m currently on a parasite cleanse along with a supplement protocol given to me by Dr. Nikki Arguinzoni-Gil (See a full list of our favorite healers here.) I am supporting my healing with visits to Pause Float Studio for infrared sauna, acupuncture with Rose Goodman of Apothecai, and twice daily DI’s (have you guys tried the DI that comes with the purchase of UPLEVEL pre-sale? It’s incredible.
There’s a sort of awkward unraveling of self that occurs during sickness and healing. It’s this messy process that has made me feel unflatteringly exposed and unsure of myself. I used to explain it with the vague assertion that ‘I don’t feel like myself.’ And then, one evening when I wasn’t feeling well, after I turned down yet another proposal for a night out that my ex wanted me to join in on, he angrily said, “Kate you have been saying that for a year now. When are you gonna accept that this is just who you are?” It really stung. I interpreted his words to mean that he saw me as boring, rigid, always tired, selfish, incapable, weak. Of course he more than likely wasn’t thinking any those things, but it triggered all of those shadow aspects within me. Once the initial hurt dulled, I was able to look at why I was so triggered by his words.
For most of my life, I have subconsciously calculated my self-worth by my capacity for forward motion. The more I could get done, the more people I helped, the harder I worked, the more fiercely independent I could be, the better I felt about myself. Intensity was my barometer for self-worth. I didn’t understand the point of meditation (Why would I ever sit down and meditate if I could calm my mind while getting an amazing workout in hot yoga?) , I thought spiritual seeking was for those who were lost in their regular lives, and I assumed self-care was an excuse for being lazy. I was rather happily going along with near machine-like precision, but the universe had other plans.
Lacy often talks about the universe ‘earthquaking’ us back onto our authentic paths— and boy, this illness has felt like a 10 on the Richter scale. By crumbling the achievement-based structure I clung to for control and weakening the body I demanded to carry out my desires, the illness forced me to look at the places within myself far deeper than this physical embodiment. In my search for physical recovery, I became an accidental seeker. There’s this lovely talk I listened to recently by Ram Dass where he talks about his path of seeking and spirituality. After returning from months spent in an ashram, he went back to America and visited his family. He was triggered and annoyed by them, and appalled at the vulgarity of city life and the messiness of humanity. His teacher asked him “Do you want to be high or do you want to be free? You’re in school, why don’t you try taking the curriculum?” He was referring to the school of life.
Life can be messy, raw, and oozing with not-so-poetic truths, but the most important lessons are in that exact discomfort.
This illness has been a rigorous curriculum in authenticity. When I first began Lacy’s work, I didn’t truly understand what she meant by ‘authentic self.’ For most of my life, I thought being my ‘authentic self’ meant being happy all the time and ignoring the SHADOW parts of myself that I wasn’t proud of. The unwavering truth of who we are always exists somewhere in us, and it can just as easily be clouded by 'positive’ over-achieving tendencies as it can by ‘negative’ habits and coping mechanisms. This work has taught me that authenticity encompasses ALL parts of self and that true freedom is in gracefully owning every iteration of our being— healthy, sick, angry, heartbroken or happy. As I continue to delve into the parts of myself that were triggered by being sick, I am slowly coming to realize that illness had not stripped me of my authentic self, but is instead challenging me to grow into a more expansive, honest, and magnetic expression. What a gift.
Here are some of the things I’ve found helpful as I’m navigating the intersection between authenticity and illness:
i. The only way out is through. Lacy teaches that freedom and authenticity lie in unfettered acceptance of all aspects of ourselves. This requires some major UNBLOCKING. Work through SHADOW to uncover the parts of yourself you’re resistant to look at.
ii. Immerse yourself in a supportive environment. This can be either in digital or real life. We have an amazing community in our Facebook group that cheers each other on through rock bottoms. If you have specific questions, we’re always here for you via SUPPORTED— In a twice monthly video series, Lacy answers questions sent in by members.
iii. Give yourself the gift of patience and grace. Know that as you’re healing your body and working on your subconscious programming, a lot can come up. Stay dedicated to your practice but allow yourself to take everything at your own pace. Healing takes time.
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KATE HINKENS • Social Media and Blog Coordinator
Minnesotan in LA. Endlessly enthusiastic about plants, neuroscience, and holistic medicine.