Meet Afshan. For years this mother kept a facade that she was okay and hid her feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression. With support and acceptance, she no longer hides and has turned those feelings into passion. As a Whole Life Coach she speaks her truth in hopes of ensuring other people struggling do not feel alone and to motivate others to embrace acceptance and self-love, too.
UR Enough: Please introduce yourself to the UR Enough community.
Afshan: Hi, I’m Afshan Tafler. I’m a Whole Life Coach and someone who strives everyday to find compassion, acceptance and peace in my life. I have a thirst for knowledge and bettering myself, but this no longer comes from the need for perfection, but from the need to love and accept all that I am and live into the belief that I am whole and complete just as I am, right now, in this moment.
UR Enough: You have a beautiful son. What has becoming a mother taught you about yourself?
Afshan: So much! I believe a child can be your greatest teacher – if you’re willing to listen. The main thing becoming a mother has taught me is to love and accept myself unconditionally (not just when I’m doing great and accomplishing a lot, but also when I’m failing and in a mind rut). Motherhood has also taught me that perfection is an illusion! It does not exist, so striving for it will just lead to pain. Acceptance of each moment and supporting myself is the ticket to more joy and happiness. The last thing I would like to mention is that motherhood has taught me that it is ok to not be in control of everything.
UR Enough: You shared your vulnerable story of raising a child with special needs with the UR Enough community. You are not alone with this story — there are many that tell a similar story, feel the same feelings, and pray the same prayers. But you expressed a visceral sense of isolation when you heard of other mothers talk about their ‘normal’ motherhood. How did you respond to the loneliness that came with the circumstances you faced?
Afshan: I had a hard time facing the deep and painful emotions I was experiencing, so I tried to escape them or numb them out through behaviors such as shopping, overeating or drinking a glass of wine every night to take the edge off. Ultimately, the pain I was experiencing was because I felt different, which made me feel disconnected from others. As humans, connection is one of the greatest feelings and what we truly need to thrive in our lives. By believing I was different, and that something was wrong with me as a result, I was separating myself from connecting with others and creating more pain for myself, which lead me into feelings of hopelessness and depression. I understand now that as humans we are all the same, and we all suffer…it is a part of this journey we call life. Just because I was suffering did not mean I was any different or that something was wrong with me. By changing this belief, I realized I was not alone and that nothing was wrong with me for having these feelings, and I did not have to hide who I was and what I was going through.
UR Enough: From your personal journey, you have come to own your story. How has this acceptance changed your mental wellness?
Afshan: The biggest way in which acceptance has changed my mental wellness is that there is no longer this inner battle or struggle between my emotions and me. I accept the emotions that come up and look at them as a message instead of the enemy. Emotions are a part of who I am and give me messages about what I may not be dealing with, or how I may be thinking about myself, or what beliefs I have about myself or my abilities that are not serving my best existence. By no longer seeing emotions as something to run from, my body has been able to calm down more and not be in constant fight or flight/stress, and this has freed up a lot of energy that helps me stay in a more positive mindset of acceptance and self-love.
UR Enough: What is one thing you love most about yourself?
Afshan: My ability to help people see the best in themselves! I have always had this ability…since I was a child; but, I have not always been able to see the best in myself. It’s amazing how sometimes our greatest ability can be forgotten when turned on ourselves. I know so many people who are so great at taking care of others but do not take care of themselves, emotionally or physically. Now, I love how I can use this same ability on myself because I now have a belief that I deserve to see the best in myself so that I can live my best life!
UR Enough: In five words, what does the messaging and community of UR Enough mean to you?
Afshan: Connection. Self-Acceptance. Self-Love. Empowering. Magical.
Watch and listen to Afshan speak her truth in The #UREnough Campaign, and become inspired to cultivate your own self-acceptance and speak your truth, too.