My journey of lack of self worth, lack of confidence all stemmed from one thing in my life... Being adopted.
Was I not wanted? Why was I not wanted? How could I have been given away?
An overwhelming fear of Rejection, that I was never good enough, even though I was adopted into a loving family, those thoughts constantly followed me through life, affecting how I felt about myself in every situation I was a part of and how I felt towards others.
And over time I hardened myself, as a way to protect myself, as a 'just in case', I hurt people before they hurt me, 'just in case'.
I never realized how much energy it took to be in this constant defense mode, and because people loved me for my "bluntness", "straight up attitude" "say it like it is", I never realised just how it enabled me to continue on being this person.
I obsessed over the physical aspect of me, which I could change, meanwhile never looking within and realizing that is what needed attention. And I defined myself as a strong woman because I was that woman who took no crap from anyone, and that was what represented strength to me.
However it was only the beginning of this year, I had a pivotal moment where I went through an experience that I couldn't just pick myself up and dust myself off like I've always done in the past. I couldn't go into Robot Rachel Mode, where I carry on as though nothing phased me.
It was in this dark moment, where there was nothing but overwhelming darkness and no way out, that I had a calling, this calling came to me through Meditation that Kim had taught me. It was this moment where faith called to me and 2 days later I embraced Islam, and with that came the shedding, shedding of the walls I had built around me, shedding of the protection layer I had wrapped myself in, and shedding of the Strong Rachel as we know her.
Strength to me now is Vulnerability, it is embracing my flaws and loving them as they are part of me, it is letting go of the anger that has always been my "go too" emotion, it is admitting that love is not weakness, that opening my heart and soul to people is not weakness, it is realising that I no longer need to obsess about my physical appearance, that there is so much more out there that I can gain fulfillment and contentment from, that aren't related to a number on a scale.
Strength is loving myself, for who I am.