I got insecure in the 7th grade.
Blame it on the hormones and the braces and the awkward phase all budding teens go through. Or maybe it was tied to my parents’ impending divorce. It could have been that as my girlfriends blossomed and matured into young women, I remained a “cute” girl.
For whatever reason, or most likely a combination of it all, I became aware of my insecurities. Let’s face it. I always had them. Even though I was outgoing and friendly, I was always thinking in the back of mind…
“Do they like me?”, “do I fit in?”, “am I perfect enough?”
This quest for perfection and popularity had pushed me to socialize and participate throughout my adolescence. I was a joiner. I was on the track and field hockey teams. I was a cheerleader. I acted in school plays and got big roles. I sang in a special choir. I was on the student council. You get my drift.
But through it all, I doubted myself and never fully gave my best.
My natural abilities mixed with my insecurities, low self-esteem, and dulled spirit made a toxic brew of mediocrity. I know it sounds like I was involved in a lot but the inner me, my essence, was not.
This led to a downward spiral of mini failures that started with my 7th-grade school play audition.
I was going out for Glinda, the Good Witch of the South in our school’s rendition of The Wiz. I ran from cheerleading practice and waltzed into my audition with an air of smugness that only masked my insecurity. I half-listened to the director as he gave me my lines and acted “too cool for school” throughout the whole, embarrassing ordeal.
I didn’t get the part.
The year before I had acted alongside Sarah Silverman (yes, that Sarah Silverman) and was the only 6th grader with a large speaking and singing role. I could have blossomed as an actor, but by 7th grade, I had given up. I gave up on a lot of things that year, namely myself.
You wouldn’t know it though. From the outside, it looked as though I was in full achievement, success with a capital ’S’ mode, but really I was just going through the motions for popularity points.
Popularity made me feel powerful.
As my inner power dwindled and my outer world grew larger and larger, I tapped into the toxic territory of fame and popularity as the distraction to my defeats. It didn’t matter if I didn’t get the part. Kids thought I was cool. I didn’t have to try hard. I got good grades and had tons of friends. I could quit the special choir and not do anything special at all, and still look like a success.
I gave up my personal development and inner achievement for the quick and dirty satisfaction of praise and external acceptance. It was a battle of good vs. evil, with the “good” being a finely tuned sense of self and love for who I was, pitted (and losing) against the “evil” of foregoing myself for the sake of others’ approval.
I went to the dark side.
I wielded my black magic in the simplest ways possible for the quickest gains. The results were immediately gratifying but short-lived. I gained a shallow sense of self-congratulatory success but nothing to nurture and grow.
In the short term, it can seem easier being the bad witch. You don’t have to rely on yourself, your inner knowing, your magic within like you do when you’re a good witch. A bad witch is ugly within and does nothing to improve the situation. There is no focus on personal development, accountability or responsibility, and certainly no self-love. The bad witch has turned against herself and lost her way.
Can you relate?
Whether it’s a personal struggle or you know people who have lost their way, the results of bad witchery can be felt far and wide. It’s seen in our partner who can’t leave work at the office and never has time for the family. It’s felt when the old party animal in you, from your college days, has a harder and harder time feeling good in the wake of the body abuse. It’s observed in parents who live vicariously through their children and push them to do things they’re not interested in doing.
Losing yourself under the spell of external rewards and satisfaction is tempting and commonplace. Many people spend their whole lives entranced – drifting through their life oblivious to the magic within.
What would you do with your life if you awoke from the spell?
That’s what I started asking myself in my early adulthood. I knew I wasn’t reaching my potential. I knew I wasn’t all that happy. I wanted to live a more authentic, purposeful, and joyful life. Being awake to my power within was my ticket to that life.
But, knowing I was a good witch was only half the battle. I needed to build up my powers of self-esteem and self-worth. I needed to harness the inner joy and satisfaction of following my own path. I had to be prepared to fight for my own life and slay the temptations of negative influences.
It’s been a long journey and it’s nowhere near over.
And that’s exciting and real and, to me, what life is all about. Waking up from the spell is the first step. Strengthening your powers and casting your magic are the next and never-ending steps to everlasting joy.
What will you do with your life when you awake from the spell?
You’ll reach your greatest potential. You’ll work to live, not live to work. You will develop incredible relationships. You’ll use your magic to shine and help others shine. You will find your way back to yourself.
As Glinda said, “You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas…” to go back home.
If you could make any wish for your life come true what would it be? Please leave your comments below!