Why the Key To Reinventing Ourselves is Uninventing Ourselves

Most of us seek healing and transformation by reinventing ourselves, over and over again. But in the end, we always become something new by uninventing ourselves. We find a new self by embracing our original self. We find a fuller identity by relinquishing all of our smaller identities…

Tangled

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs via Compfight cc

If panic could light up a dark room, my bedroom would have been glowing.

The black hour before dawn surrounded me, but my insides were lit up with a bright white fear. I had set my alarm for 5am, but my terror had sent me an earlier wakeup call.

In five hours, my family and I would get on a plane bound for New York, where my daughter and I would appear the following morning on the TODAY Show. Where we would tell a world full of women, “You are beautiful. On the inside.”

But I didn’t feel beautiful on the inside. I felt terrified. As my family slumbered, I laid in bed and thought, “If this anxiety gets worse as the show approaches, I’ll be incoherent on national television.”

Why was I so scared? Because I didn’t feel good enough. Because I felt like I had about thirty hours to reinvent myself for a national audience. Because I had forgotten why I named my blog, UnTangled.

This is the beginning of a guest post I wrote for Disney’s Babble.com. To read the rest of the story behind the blog name, UnTangled, and how it helped me find some peace before going on television, click here to read the rest of the post

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Next Post: Confessions of a Parent (From the Dinner Table)

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Disclaimer: My writings represent a combination of my own personal opinions and my professional experiences, but they do not reflect professional advice. Interaction with me via the blog does not constitute a professional therapeutic relationship. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor who can dedicate the hours necessary to become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. I do not assume liability for any portion or content of material on the blog and accept no liability for damage or injury resulting from your decision to interact with the website.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Christina Davila

    The messages found within Disney movies can be so pure and profound. Both Tangled and Frozen are my new favorites (behind Aladdin of course). I really appreciate your emphasis of uninventing. People place so many labels on me based on my interests and what I’m studying in school. It takes intentional reflection for me to dig beneath all those descriptors. Who am I really? I think finding that answer truly frees us and allows us to achieve higher levels of happiness and really just inner peace. Most of the time I feel like we are all at a masquerade ball; we wear lavish gowns, jewels, gaudy masks and dance in circles. Daring to remove all the adornments makes us exposed, but simplicity is underrated. This post has me set to a new goal, to be the honest, simple me.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Christina, it is really good to hear how you are being intentional about sifting through all the descriptors people will place upon you. I think it was Eckart Tolle who wrote that one of the most common roles we play is “adult.” When I remember that, I always feel a greater sense of peace about who I am, because oftentimes, on the inside, we don’t feel very “adult”! I hope you can find peace in being simply you. : )

  • Kari Swenson

    First, an FYI, your photo credit is backwards on the post.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kari, I’d love to fix it if I’ve made an error, but I’m not sure what you’re referring to. If you have more details, just let me know!

  • Jennifer Gan

    As always, thank you Kelly! These are two movies I’m happy to watch again and again with my kids, and yours is a message I am struggling to learn right now. Blessings to you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Blessings to you, too, Jen, as you struggle with this. In my experience, it usually involves a real struggle, followed by a moment in which we finally feel free to rest in who we are. I hope you find one of those moments. You are certainly worthy of it!