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Root & Crown

Kourtney Rieder

That people-pleaser was nothing more than a mask, one I had put on long ago. In search of acceptance, I was conditioned to present that side of myself for so long I eventually forgot it was a mask.

For the longest time, I thought I really knew myself; so “self-aware” and “confident.” I thought the bubbly, loud, outgoing person I acted like back then was really me. In truth, it was just an act. Not a “conscious” act, mind you.

That people-pleaser was nothing more than a mask, one I had put on long ago. In search of acceptance, I was conditioned to present that side of myself for so long I eventually forgot it was a mask.

I became an actor that couldn’t break character. Why would I play such a painful role? Filled with struggle, regret, and anxiety?

For years, I watched as my life-behind-the-mask continued on course into a hopeless void. But, as with any journey, I encountered a few pivotal moments that would define my path and set me back on course.

Each course correction showed me that the mask was blurring my vision. Each one put a little more power back in my own hands rather than leaving me at the mercy of the tide. Every minor adjustment brought me closer to who I really am.

But there were three major turning points in my life that stand out the most…

The first is when I decided to move out of my hometown, leave everyone and everything I knew and loved, all of my family and friends… to create a change in the direction of my life.

I was 21 years old, had no friends, alone and unknown. Despite all the fear and uncertainty, something in me was compelled to take this Leap. Something in me knew that in order to create the life I wanted, I needed to break free from the unconscious patterns of my hometown.

This was the most difficult decision of my life up to that point and, to be honest, it was painful. Like the first fish that left the comfort of the ocean to evolve into a new life on solid ground. It wasn’t easy but, looking back, it was one of the greatest decisions of my life!

When I was 25, the next major shift happened… I had my first child, my son. This was an unexpected, but most incredible surprise! I was so afraid, though. I remember crying, saying “I’m not responsible enough to take care of another human! I can barely take care of myself!”

You see, the year I first became pregnant, I was in my darkest phase of life. I was on anti-depressants and drinking about a bottle of wine by myself nearly every single night. To say I was emotionally numb would be a drastic understatement. I was like the walking dead.

And the selfishness… oh, how self-serving I was and yet self-destructive at the same time. I had hit my rock bottom. Once my son came along, the prescriptions were eliminated and eventually, so was drinking altogether. It was time to climb toward the light and out of the darkness.

Now I had a new environment, I had a new motivation, but there were still many more layers, deep festering wounds from the years of pain caused by others and myself. That’s when the latest turning point showed up.

I knew I needed another change and I wanted something to give me a swift kick in the rear. So I went through a retreat and a coaching program that was INTENSE! It was exactly what I needed but the work doesn’t end simply because the program does.

There is always another layer to dive into and work on. That doesn’t mean you don’t love and appreciate where you’re at, it means you DO love yourself… so much so that you want to open a greater capacity within yourself to allow more love and fulfillment into your heart.

Growing pains are inevitable, the process of healing and self-discovery isn’t “sexy” and doesn’t feel good; but once you see the results of what happens on the other side of those pains and the change YOU created… it’s worth it every time.


"I am a life-shifting 29-year-old wife to my best friend, and mother to my greatest creation. My dream is to continuously improve and fill my life with so much joy, that it spills onto my family, friends, and people I may never meet." Kourtney Rieder




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