I recently watched the Disney movie “Raya and The Last Dragon” during my movie night. (Yes, it is a date night that I have with myself, don’t judge me).
It talks about this one tribe that wanted to create unity once again with the other tribes. Instead of going through life scraping and surviving on their own. However, the other tribes weren’t feeling that and betrayed this one tribe. This caused death and despair for all of them except for the few that could escape.
Dragon Ran Away:
Without giving the whole plot away, in the beginning there were dragons that protected and lived among the people. When the bad spirits came and turned the people into stone, the dragons tried to save them by combining their powers which worked. But the dragons were lost except for one. This one dragon ran and hid for years until the fall of the people again due to their greed.
“This one dragon ran and hid for years until the fall of the people again due to their greed.”
The daughter of the tribal leader who wanted to bring unity among the people survived. And she went on a mission to find this last dragon, and after several years, she found her!
However, this last dragon was scared to help again because of what happened last time in losing all her dragon family in the process. As they go along the journey they help to strengthen the dragon again. This dragon became more confident and in the end, was willing to sacrifice her life for the people once more. However, this time she was successful in not only saving the people but bringing her dragon family back to life!
So How Does This Movie Tie Into Self-Discovery?
I know for myself, the majority of my life was spent attempting to be someone that I wasn’t. Just to fit in and be accepted by those around me. I learned to master wearing multiple masks throughout the day to gain acceptance and acknowledgment from others. Only causing more internal despair and rejection.
This all stemmed from being told I was a mistake as a child by my mom. She was only doing the best she could with what she had. And, I am sure she didn’t understand the depth and impact of those words over my whole life. Immediately, my objective was to prove my worth and her choosing to have me over and over again. However, it didn’t work and only caused more internal confusion, disappointment, and reduced self-esteem and self-worth.
Long-Term Effects Of The Multiple Autoimmune Conditions:
During my twenties, I had a near-fatal car accident that only heightened what I was feeling within. As I went about my journey of dealing with the long-term effects of the multiple autoimmune conditions, the misunderstandings, stigmas, and, lack of support isolated me further. I was in a deep depression. In survival mode for a long time. Without the proper guidance on how to now live my life with autoimmunity, and lack of understanding from those around me, caused me to just coast through each day on autopilot.
“Would I be able to give and receive love, thus having positive and healthy relationships in my life.”
My Journey Of Self-Discovery:
It wasn’t until I turned forty last year that I began my journey of self-discovery. And getting to know who I was authentically and to love myself. God had to have a come to Jesus meeting with me. He let me know I was still not living up to my life’s purpose. Because, I was so busy holding onto things, I was not allowing him room to move on my behalf in my life.
Also, he stressed the importance of no longer living under the shadow of rejection that I had carried like a banner all my life. He gently let me know that when I began to love myself, I would I be able to give and receive love, thus having positive and healthy relationships in my life.
Self-Discovery Journey Is Not An Easy One:
Being intentional in taking that time to really look at yourself in the mirror and doing the hard inner work helps us to remove the masks we have been wearing. It gives us the freedom to show up authentically and effectively. Now, the self-discovery journey is not an easy one, but it is a necessary one. When you give yourself permission to truly be you, you also give others permission to do the same.
We are not here to go through life alone, nor are we meant to stay transfixed and stuck in our past experiences and made mistakes. We are to move from our breakdowns to breakthroughs – to be relatable to those we are called to serve, as well as be of impact and transformation for them.
Today, I am still working through my self-discovery journey and learning to trust the progress of the process that has been made. I have learned to be more present, extend myself some grace, and be protective of my time and peace. I have newfound freedom in showing up authentically, flaws and all.
About the Author:
Imani Harris is an autoimmunity advocate, accountability coach, and consultant helping women dealing with autoimmune and chronic illness have the clarity, confidence, and consistency they desire in every area of their lives. The 3-C framework helps them to go from just surviving moment to month, to fully thriving in the abundance God has for them.
Affectionately called the “strategist of strategy” by clients for her out-the-box thinking, knowledge of resources, and compassionate nature to see them soar and shine in everything they do. When Imani is not serving others, she is an avid cat lover at heart and can often be found reading a book, jamming to one of her many playlists, or researching the latest in tech. Follow Imani on Instagram.