Karenna’s Inspiring Journey: From Loneliness and Struggle to Authentic Self-Discovery

“Burnout is the real pandemic.”

I recently opened up on my podcast about my journey of self-healing and transformation over the past several years.

I wanted to pull back the curtain and give you an unfiltered look into my story – the messy parts and all.

The Spark That Lit My Journey

I described where I was before beginning this work. I felt numb, just rolling through life on autopilot.

I churned through the repetitive motions of waking up, going to the gym, working, finding a husband. You know, living that carefully curated Instagrammable life.

On the inside, though, I felt hollow. Insecure. Alone – even while surrounded by loving friends and family.

I bent over backward to please people and earn their validation. I attached my worth to others’ opinions of me like a drug.

It was an exhausting way to live, yet I didn’t know any other way. I assumed everyone secretly felt as lonely and afraid as I did.

A few key events cracked me open and sparked my self-healing journey…

I started reading personal development books like You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I devoured it like a Bible I’d been waiting my whole life to discover.

I learned about the Enneagram personality test and saw myself in a new light. My type is The Helper who gains value from giving to others.

This helped me understand why I often gave from empty places inside myself to feel worthy of love and why I made my needs small and put others first at my own expense.

These insights lit a fire under me. I became ravenously curious about my patterns and motivations.

Instead of blaming others or circumstances, I started taking responsibility for how I showed up.

I began asking myself tough questions like why do I seek validation outside myself? Why do I shrink myself to please?

Slowly, my eyes opened to the possibility of living differently.

Unpacking the Messy Parts

Here’s the thing though – it hasn’t been a smooth, linear upward journey.

I’ve experienced many spirals, backslides, and growing pains along the way.

I had to slowly peel back the layers within myself, getting closer to my most tender wounds.

I uncovered coping habits I used to numb and avoid facing myself. These were blocking my full expression.

Some of the hardest times came when I hid the messy parts of myself from others’ view.

I was terrified of judgement. Of being seen as the anxious, insecure mess I was inside.

But each time I found the courage to let someone in, they held me in my messiness with love.

And my self-compassion grew. My shame began to dissolve.

I described an experience that opened the floodgates for me.

In a room full of impressive strangers, I allowed my deepest emotional expressions to flow – things I’d always suppressed like anger, grief, and fear.

As terrifying as it was to let these unedited, “ugly” parts out where others could see, I felt free and connected to myself in a whole new way.

I knew then that my messiness was nothing to hide—even the fragments I wanted to disown deserved care.

By revealing them, I reclaimed lost pieces of myself. I realized I could let people in and still be worthy of love.

From Playing Small to Living Large

I’ve gradually made shifts through daily practices, leading me to where I am today.

I still uncover limiting beliefs about what makes me worthy and lovable. Old habits die hard.

But the more I embrace and make space for every part of myself – light and dark – the less power these stories hold over me.

The less I attach my value to things like people pleasing or my body image.

As I’ve established boundaries, prioritized my needs, and communicated assertively, some relationships have organically evolved or faded.

While painful at times, this pruning has filled my inner garden with new vibrant growth.

My self-care has attracted people who are better aligned with the true me.

Owning my worth has translated into boldly owning my desires.

Like starting this podcast to express myself fully – not just the curated, pretty parts I thought others wanted to see.

Why I Must Love My Messy Parts

I hope that by boldly sharing the real, messy me, I can inspire you to honor yourself in the same way.

Because once you give yourself permission to get messy and radically honest with yourself, you unlock the gateway to freedom.

By leaning into the parts of you that feel scary, unlovable, or imperfect, you shed limiting stories others have told you or you’ve told yourself.

You reclaim your worth as it already exists – no hustling or proving required.

Doing this emotional work teaches you that you are worthy simply for being you.

It’s then you can start living fully and freely as your authentic self, not the self-image you’ve created or society has molded.

The Journey Continues

I recently opened up on my podcast about my personal journey of self-healing and transformation over the past several years.

I wanted to pull back the curtain and give you an unfiltered look into my story – the messy parts and all.

While I feel more whole than ever before, I know there are endless layers still to unfold. Our healing paths never end.

I hope sharing my story here helps you feel less alone and lights the way for your own self-discovery.

This work takes courage, but the freedom on the other side makes it all worthwhile.

You are worthy of it. Your wholeness awaits beneath your broken fragments.

If you want to hear more about my whole backstory, check out Episode 1 of the Fully Expressed podcast.

My dearest friend Carissa Karban interviewed me and helped me open up about experiences that were truly transformative in my self-healing journey.

It was so powerful to speak freely and be held in openness and compassion as I unpacked my story. I hope it inspires you to honor yourself in the same way on your own path of growth and discovery.

Now I’m eager to hear – what resonated with you most from my story? Let me know in the comments!

Curious to hear more?

Dive deeper and join Carissa and me on episode 1 of the Fully Expressed Podcast by Karenna. Let’s rediscover what it truly means to be ‘fully expressed’.

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