Flying off my bike at 15 mph and crash-landing in the middle of A1A wasn’t part of the plan. Certainly fracturing my jaw in two places and shattering my chin wasn’t either. And most definitely, losing my signature “buck teeth” and chipping almost every other tooth in my mouth wasn’t on my to-do list that day.
It’s been almost two years since that life-changing day and I’m still struggling to adapt to a misaligned jaw, fake teeth, countless crowns and bondings and a crooked smile. And that’s not all. The facial asymmetry that resulted from my brain surgery in 2006 was further accentuated by this ill-fated fall. All the progress I had made via facial-cranial therapy and electric stimulation has since vanished. I’m back to square one.
Why does any of this matter? Everyone’s got something. Nobody’s perfect. Right?
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For me, the problem lies elsewhere. For the last two years I’ve been actively trying to LIE about my battle scar. Hide it, in fact. Through the toning down of my facial expressions, covering my mouth while chewing and smiling less big, I’ve sought to deflect attention away from it.
But of course it has affected me and all that I am. Since my accident, I’ve grown slightly inhibited, spiritually-stifled, and forced to shrink my big personality into something more subdued than the dynamo that I’ve always been who’s authentic and passionate about life. Because authentic I cannot be while aiming to conceal traces of my very own life experiences.
So what’s a girl to do to get over her insecurity? Face the fear. Stare it down until it loses power.
So I did. The other day I taped an interview with the fun and edgy 3 Loud Women in front of a live audience. I had asked them to position me with my right-profile facing the camera, the good side, the side of the face that moves as it should. They were all set to accommodate me, but just prior to approaching the interview table, I was struck with an insight: No more bullshit. No more striving to cloak my flaws behind a mask of stoicism. Time for a seismic shift.
“I’m gonna sit to the left of you ladies,” I declared triumphantly. “I’ve got to be authentic and walk the talk of embracing life, and all it entails. After all, it is what I’m talking about during this segment.”
And then I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it! I laughed, smiled big and had a blast. I disconnected from the worry about whether my face was moving or not.
I freed myself from this self-imposed bondage.
Does this mean I’ll discontinue with my therapy or stop practicing to chew with my mouth closed? No way! All it means is that my true essence, my true personality, can once again, shine through.
And what most encourages and reinforces my newfound belief system is the enlightening course I’m presently enrolled in at The Success Coach Institute, where I’m attaining a certification as a Success Coach, or more specifically, a Life Coping Coach.
Now that I’m no longer preoccupied with my broken face, everything’s making sense to me now.
What do you think?
Are you ready to free yourself from your own hang-ups, too?