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Updated: May 14, 2022

I’ve always considered myself a kind and compassionate person, but I never really understood the depth of my sensitivity until I learned what it meant to be an empath and began to challenge my beliefs deeply.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY until the age of 14, I wasn’t what you would consider your average Brooklyn girl – I was extremely shy and consumed with self-doubt, when all I ever wanted was to fit in with the crowd. Such irony!

Since a very young age, I remember being bullied and ridiculed about my weight – crying many tears, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. “Is it my body? Am I too fat? Am I ugly?” Sheesh, what a burden to bear at such a young age!

By becoming overly aware and sensitive to other people’s thoughts and opinions of me, I developed extreme anxiety and a learned behavior called people pleasing. This further fueled an expectation within myself that seemed impossible to meet – that I must look a certain way to be accepted by society. “Am I smart enough? Am I thin enough? Will I ever be enough?” These questions haunted me for a very long time.

Growing up, we absorb the patterns and beliefs of our families, friends, educators, influencers, and leaders that condition us to think and act a certain way. We are generally taught to appease people based on society’s “norm,” thus suppressing more and more of who we truly are.

The more we do this, the more anger, shame, and guilt builds up inside – like a wet blanket dragging us down, masking our true nature, and the light we were meant to shine!

But I promise you this, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and a healthier, more authentic way to live. The more you learn to trust in who you are, the more confident you become within to make decisions that reflect who you truly are in the end.

So how do we restore our sense of belonging in a world that has tainted our sense of trust? How do we build a bridge of hope that transports us from the past to the present with empathy for the lessons learned?

It’s taken me many years to heal my traumas and transform my beliefs through therapy, Reiki, different forms of art, self-care, and most importantly, my desire to heal! I still have ways to go, but what I do know for sure is when we learn to embrace who we truly are, life becomes much easier. We may not always feel good enough or smart enough, but let me reassure you, you are enough, just the way you are.

So, what's the big takeaway? Well, I’ll ask you this.. Do you really want to fit in when you were born to stand out? Be the change you wish to see and stand out from the crowd!

Robyn Spieler 10-11-2021

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