Self Love Journey: Update 6

Self Love Journey: Update 6

Last update on this self love journey was exactly a year ago.

A year where most of what has happened has been dictated by Covid. Yes, this pandemic year has made some real shakes in every aspect of our lives – physical, emotional, financial, you name it. It’s been such a different year for every single person on Earth yet no one has been left untouched by it one way or another.

Some have found amazing opportunities and growth while others have been struggling when having been thrown into their own depths. Yes, it’s been undoubtedly a most interesting year.

As for my self love journey, I wanted to sit down to write about it as I felt the inner calling two days ago. So here I am, diligently with a cuppa Earl Grey tea, with my laptop on my lap, next to my window on a gray Saturday evening here in Barcelona, happily diving deep within once more.


This last leg of my journey has been somehow eventful. I met someone. Someone who became one of my main support systems throughout this pandemic period of time, right before it all hit in. Someone who came completely out of the blue, quite unexpectedly, randomly, tenderly. Someone who quickly enough felt like some kind of home where we would both feel safe to share, express, dig and more. This amazing soul has been truly one of my most incredible presences and enablers of growth, more like a companion in a safe space where each one of us could dive in deeper and grow into the next version of ourselves with every talk, every share and every space-holding each time, almost daily. We have never met. It’s been an online presence which has evolved into a spiritual and energetic space – even a medical one as we both share the same profession to my own surprise.

And because of all these reasons I can now express how far and deep my healing has gone this year since January 2020.

In this span of 2020 I’ve been made to see and face some of my deepest fears, the ones I had successfully been hiding under a very thick rug in the far back of my mind and soul for way too long.

The time has arrived.

The Doctor’s Healing

The doctor in me has been on the top of that list of fears. I’ve come to not only remember but also realise other deep aspects of why I chose not to become the cardiothoracic surgeon I always dreamed of being while I was going through my medical career. I’ve done plenty on other areas of specialisation and proud of it, but this one thing from my past remained hidden somewhere in my mind and heart. It has been a huge event for me as I’ve opened up to allow myself to think about it again – I don’t think I’ll be going into residency at age 39 or further (which crazily enough has been going through my mind), but it’s mostly been about how it made me feel back then, what was my motivation and how it all was when I made my decision to not choose the residency specialisation road.

To my surprise, I came to some realisations about it all:

  • I went through most of my medical career with a deep fear ingrained in my every cell. Deep fears of failure and not being good enough that started soon after starting uni and piling up quickly with every semester that went by. Times seven for every year of med school all together. Shame took completely over me since.

  • I have been able to remember particular and specific events while as a med student that were not only difficult but traumatic in ways I didn’t understand at the time. Events I could only recall after starting to open up and share with this magical colleague friend that appeared in my life. I could recall the events, specific places and people involved. Bringing those memories to the front of my awareness again was such a painful process yet extremely liberating at the same time. Little did I know, only until it happened.

  • I was able to recall as well how despite all the signatures I failed as a student, making me feel an absolute medical failure back then, I truly enjoyed and loved many of those subjects. This was an unexpected surprise. Biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, endocrinology just to mention a few topics I now know I love. I suddenly feel like I’ve been granted permission to truly enjoy it all again.

  • All this made me realise how I didn’t truly enjoy being a med student, the academic side of it. I suffered my career. And I mean, yes all med students suffer and struggle. However, there’s a normal level to that and there’s a pathological level beyond certain point which is fiercely unspoken. I realised I’ve been through some level (or many) of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) throughout my career and this is the first time ever I’m openly speaking about this, only because it’s been recently when I understood this about myself. I’ve then realised there is a thing called complex trauma which is different from PTSD, more like a series of PTSD and it all ticks so many boxes for me regarding my med school experience. As socially fun and normal as I was able to enjoy, the academic side of it was an absolute pain and trauma and I only see that now…15 years later after grad.

Bless growth and the bravery to do inner work and look back for a bit in order to understand, heal and move on.

Thanks to all of this, I came to understand a far deeper side of myself non-related to medicine but life itself.

It wasn’t only the severely harsh doctors/professors who provoked each traumatic event (which all belonged to a generation of emotionally unavailable people, now I know) but also my own inability to detect, discern and cope with all of what was happening. Because we’re barely given the tools to do all that when we’ve all been mostly raised in a muted society somehow.

I have learned I grew up in a state of survival (emotionally speaking) so deep that I could only recover from one after another without truly understanding what was happening. Only trying to grasp air in between fear-based events.

I have always been a very sensitive being yet I never knew it. All I always knew and heard was that I was too sensitive, too insecure, too indecisive, too weak, too much of an easy crier. I have learned now that being a sensitive being is only the major and best of my qualities. What makes me the most me. What was most special about me all along! Game-changer right here…

I see how me being too indecisive, insecure and seemingly weak as a kid were only symptoms of a far deeper issue. One that I’ve been able to dig and untangle throughout 2020 deeper than I’ve ever done. Me being a naturally deep and insightful person, this 2020 journey has been beyond words!

And the beauty of this all is that my 39-year old self can only feel now compassion and love for the 20-year old me for not knowing, and for seeing how I couldn’t just love or see for myself back then – because I was never really taught or shown how to be me.

Which takes me to an even further back journey.

The Child’s Healing

Sliding through the memories of my life, I’ve been brought to massive awareness of how I had lived my life and why. This has allowed me to understand my past, my fears, my happiness, my repeated sense of shame, guilt and other things that would characterised me as me, according to everyone I knew. We all have these feelings without doubt, but being able to understand yours from a place of truth is probably the biggest game-changer in my experience so far.

Realising it was never no one’s fault but simply a massive social inability to understand emotions among generations of emotionally unavailable human beings who had been taught to never express, to shut up, to swallow it all, to move on just because life is hard and one must go on. We have been raised without an openness on feelings and being able to express without feeling fear to be judged or made feel less. All things I felt daily while growing up. Constant fear and disconnection.

While sharing more and more in this journey with my new-made friend, I was also able to bring out so much of my inner child.

My little self was always so afraid…like truly deeply afraid all the way to her bones, pretty much every day or every week of her young existence. I see how that feeling became a part of her even before she could become aware of the world around her.

The most deeply ingrained modus operandi of this person called Mariana Calleja was all based on a deep fear of being left alone, unsupported, not worthy of love. This made her become without her knowing an insecure, indecisive person that would find her safe haven in daydreaming.

I’ve been extremely proud of my daydreaming abilities throughout life. They have truly made me live and experience so much of what I had dreamed of and that has been the best. But I have recently found that daydreaming can also be a coping mechanism when feeling in deep fear, with a sense of threat which would activate a survival-living mechanism in the mind. Since on the outside everything seemed fine and basics covered, there was no immediate threat to be detected by the people around me, but within me was a whole different story and so this huge string of awareness has been amazing to discover.

I learned that due to all this I had to unconsciously learn to make things to keep everyone happy so I wouldn’t risk to be left (alone, unattended, unloved, abandoned or any other fear a child could feel). I became a people-pleaser early on, making me grow without truly knowing who I was or what I wanted or how I really felt about things. Only worried and desperate to be accepted by my surroundings, always trying to do the right thing, never let anyone down, always make them happy and proud of me according to what I believed made them happy.

With all this has come – just to keep the string flowing further – the most beautiful sense of compassion I’ve ever felt for anyone or myself. In fact, it has been teaching me to learn how to have compassion for that soul who is ME. Real compassion, forgiveness and more for everything and everyone. It’s ongoing and the more I feel it, the more I realise how every season of life brings a newer version of ourselves and new levels of awareness. I see how it is an infinite process yet always perfect, never hurting us on purpose. It’s been all the we ever knew and that’s how we have been living and creating the life.

How powerful then it is to realise that you truly can change your game by changing your thoughts, your thinking, your mindset, your modus operandi. All via understanding, forgiving and letting go the past experiences that marked us so deeply.

It is intangible to say the least yet I can definitely grasp now a higher sense of things, showing me such a level of detachment like I never knew which makes you care even more. It sounds ironic yet it seems spirituality in that sense is somehow ironic like that.

We grow and evolve only to find more questions some may say. A part of it might be true but in personal opinion, it seems to me that the more we evolve, the more we come to understand the past, the easier it becomes to release the future and to truly focus on being and coming to the present as much and best as possible. The more we evolve, the more we value the little things and the more we start understanding all that self-love talk filled with “learn to set your own boundaries”, “stop being a doormat person” and so many other concepts. Concepts so real yet so under-explained to some extent.

The Current Healing

I am still going through this journey but I can reckon that in the last few weeks there have been some meaningful changes happening from within, allowing me to see myself in a light I hand’t seen myself before, even in my best times in the past. Similar but never this deep and strong.

It’s still going and I have no doubt it will continue forever, as I’ve well-learned that no process ever ends yet we clearly gain levels and move steps ahead our own growth.

What’s also clear to me is that the deeper I go, the more I understand that all my fears where only deep thoughts and feelings as valid and essential as the sun and they only needed warmth, love, hugs and reassurance of everything being safe and well.

The deeper I go, the easier it feels to think of my past or my future. The easier it feels to think of myself as a whole and not someone waiting for another half to complete her.

The deeper I grow, the easier it becomes to understand that we are never alone. Something my dad has been telling me forever yet I would never understand him, not one single time. Until now.

The deeper I go, the easier it feels to start realising who I really was all along, who I really am, who I really want.

The path ahead regarding life, career, relationships or other key life topics it’s totally unclear in many ways, yet the deeper I go, the need to worry about such things starts to fade away. It seems that the closer I get to my forties, the calmer it all becomes within me, needing to worry less about being able to give to others and my beloved ones all I think I should give them in life, and instead tuning more into who I truly am. Then the path to all the things I want to do and be come naturally clear.

I’m walking this path and I have no clue about many things, but I am definitely clear on this feeling of everything that has unlocked and continues to unlock as I discover this amazing, incredible thing called ME.

Until next time!

Much love,

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