I was having an interesting chat with one of my girlfriends earlier and we spoke about things we could have done in the past but we didn’t because of our partner’s resistance towards it. Lately, I have been giving this a lot of thought seeing as I see a lot of people around me who lessen, squash or subdue themselves because they are in relationships and Lord knows I was the poster child for this in both of my long term relationships (who I found out and learned about were narcissists, after the fact.. so, that explains a lot and is perhaps a story for another time.)
So, what am I talking about here. Let me start with an example from my own experience. My first long term relationship was nearly 7 years long. During this time, I was very young and just learning and growing into the woman I was to become. If you’re with the right person.. this can be quite beautiful and your potential is endless. If you’re not.. well, that’s an entirely different story. It will impede your growth and stomp out your potential and dreams and the most devastating part, it will crush your spirit. Nearly 20 years ago, I was in modelling school and about 100lbs lighter and had the opportunity to go to New York city for a show. It was really exciting and scary!! I couldn’t wait to tell my partner. His response? He shut it down immediately. He clearly vocalized his disapproval towards my decision and proceeded to cut me up and tell me that since I have been into the modelling thing, I have been nothing but full of myself with a huge attitude problem. Needless to say, I did not go. I did not want to receive the push back from him and I was incredibly disheartened and lost what little confidence and assertiveness I gained in that short time. Fast forward to the end of that relationship. I started doing things for me. I quit my job, I went to Europe for 5 weeks, I enrolled myself into University. Things were SO great and I was finally doing things for ME! I was happy, expressive, living my life and growing in the direction that I wanted to. I felt free. I felt good.
Then I did that thing that some of us often do.. because we fall back into emotions and old patterns quite easily. I got back together with him.. And it was it incredibly shit. Not only that, but I was already in a fragile state in that moment and it sent my self esteem crashing to the ground. It didn’t help when in the end, he cheated on me and got some young girl pregnant. So, here is me.. thinking “Fuck that guy and his grossness! I am a strong WOMAN!!” and I did things that I thought were strong and independent. That was just an illusion… because those wounds that allowed me to choose someone like him were still there. I was insecure, vulnerable, had zero boundaries, self worth, the list goes on and on. If you asked me this back then, I would have laughed in your face. I believed I was strong, self confident, independent and that I valued myself. And maybe part of me started to wake up and stick up for myself because by 30, I started shutting people out of my life who were not contributing to my growth and only caused me pain and heart ache… but not enough, because I let someone in who destroyed me in so many ways I never even knew were possible. You know when they say when one door closes another one opens? Well, it was very true in my case. I slammed the door shut on one thing and the door opened literally a week later. Universe was probably punishing me for my stupid decisions.. haha but that’s okay. I don’t regret it for it was in my destruction that I truly learned the most and was able to be at the bottom and SEE all the problems. They were there staring straight at me and I could no longer hide. I could sit here and blame someone who was the most vile and hurtful monster towards me.. but the truth is, you have to stop and think, what’s wrong with me to ALLOW someone to treat me in such a way? Yes, I am fully aware of gas lighting and trauma bonding, etc… and all those wonderful things as to the reasons why we “stay” in such toxic and abusive relationships, and I will never victim blame someone who is in this situation. I understand fully and completely why you’re still there. (On a side note, if you are in a situation like this, please know that there is help and there IS a way out and I promise you it gets better. Feel free to message me if you need to talk or need support and resources.) …. but that isn’t what we’re talking about here. I’m talking about the beginning. The start. The red flags were all there. I didn’t spot them. I didn’t know them. I wasn’t schooled in narcissism and didn’t understand the importance and relevance of deal breakers and how to spot them and weed them out. You see… I was so much in need of love that I ignored every single one of them and was completely pulled in by the love bombing stage. For those who have been with these disordered types, you know the drill. The idealization phase. They dedicate every minute of their days to you. Spend every minute with you, they want to dominate your time. It’s a complete take over. Texts all day, they chauffeur you all over, fill you with compliments, gifts, notes, etc. and put you high on a pedestal.. etc etc. Then they pull some stunts.. disordered stunts.. to see how much you will tolerate and test your boundaries, etc. They will prey on your empathetic nature. You, naturally, want to help them.. you want to save them and have zero boundaries. This is a green light for them. Hook, line and sinker.
Anyway, fast forward to this shit show I got snagged into SO quickly that I literally had NO idea what was happening, until it was too late. What happened then? Well, I gave up studying, I gave up learning, I gave up on sports, I gave up on travelling and reading and meeting new people and doing so many things. I gave up on me. When you’re with people with such wounded egos, make no mistake, there is literally zero space for you. You can definitely do your own thing so long as it fits into their schedule and constraints and god forbid you want to compromise. Compromise is a word that simply does not exist their lexicon.
Why am I sharing all this? Well, whether you are in a relationship as toxic as I was or only mildly toxic or perhaps it is a job or your family or your circle of friends. Whatever it is, when we do not focus and heal our inner shit, we will continually allow these things to mute us. We will never ever live authentically and true to your soul’s calling and inner desires, needs and wants because we will always be side stepping our own selves for the other cause. That does not make you a martyr. Let me say that again.. with more conviction.. in case you didn’t grasp that the first time around. That does not make you a martyr. Nope. It makes you complacent in your own story. It makes you the supporting actor in your own life when you should be the protagonist. You will follow the leader and do things that others do. Hop from one thing to another, not finding your space. You will cut out things from you life because of other things that suddenly take up more space in your life. Don’t get me wrong.. sometimes that will happen. When is it okay for this to happen? When the thing that happens is important to you. Truly important, meaningful and intrinsic to who you are to your very core. This can be anything from someone falling ill or the birth of a baby. Etc.. Sometimes life happens and great grief or great joy can carry such responsibilities as is expected. Though these things will require you to put your own needs aside from time to time, you are still required to put yourself FIRST and meet your own needs. SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. Remember that. It is truly the most important thing you will ever learn and know.
But these are not the things I speak of. How many times have you made plans or bucket lists that you really wanted to do and were super important to you.. maybe they’re your dreams, your hopes, achievements you want to add to your résumé.. whatever it may be, are you putting them aside for someone else’s plans that were never your plans to begin with? Things just don’t pop up (Illness excluded). We allow things to pop up. We allow them to kibosh our plans, we allow our dreams to be halted or put on hold indefinitely. We let this happen. Why do we let this happen? I’ll tell you why.
Because you are not choosing you.
Every day we are inundated with choices. What are you going to wear? Eat? What route will you take? Should I read this? Buy this? Listen to this? Hrmm.. SO many choices!! Some may be more difficult than others but throughout all of this, one of those choices should always be a constant. You should always be choosing you. Every single day, choose you. When you’re unsure of what the outcome will be, choose you. If you’re scared and wavering, still choose you. Especially then. Choose you. You must choose you if you want to contribute to your growth and true happiness.
We are taught that being selfless and giving is what makes you a kind and good person. That you need to be kind and compassionate and that if someone is bad, our love and compassion can save them. Which I’m here to tell you is a bunch of bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE supporter of kindness and compassion and advocate for it all the time. I think it is vital and encoded in our souls in order for us to succeed, grow and exist. Love is the answer! I firmly believe this with all of my being. BUT.. and there is a huge but, discernment is ALSO very important. Without discernment, we might as well all be lemmings and jump blindly off a cliff. Discernment is important for self preservation and your ability to judge whether something is beneficial to you or not, is extremely important. If there is a flame, you can sit here and say “Gosh, this flame is beautiful .. it warms my hands and the light is nice to look at.” but if that flame burns your hand, do you take your hand out of the flame or do you continue to keep your hands in the flame? We are often taught to withstand pain, humiliation, torture and all sorts of bad things as if they’re good things and good aspects of us. This could be because you was raised Roman Catholic like myself, or perhaps because of a parent… could be a variety of reasons. The truth is, NONE of that is true or healthy.. or okay.. or acceptable. Living your life in one giant act of self flagellation is completely horrendous, painful, sad, oppressive, stifling and abusive to your own self.
The problem is, we aren’t always necessarily aware that we’re doing this. We like to think we are good people. We were programmed or predisposed to this kind of wiring and behaviors because of our upbringing. The first step to fixing this is to recognize it. You know exactly how to do this. For every time you’ve minimized yourself for someone or something else, that feeling you had in the pit of your stomach that you were not standing in your truth. You know that feeling. You know it well. I do not need to explain it to you or describe it. You already know what I’m talking about. But we aren’t taught to listen to those feelings and our intuition, which is our first mistake. Listen to it, my beautiful souls. Listen to it, for it is your most important compass.
Then the next step is to pause.
You need to take a moment to be still. In your thoughts. Being alone is super important and conducive to your own healing. In some cases, it may not be possible but do make time to be alone to retreat into you so that you can focus and listen. For it is in this quiet and time of solitude that you can finally hear you. You can see clearly. Then you can act. Find your wounds. Stick your hands so deep inside of them and squeeze them so tight.. see them for what they really are. Honour them. Love them for shaping you into who you are… and then take the time to heal them, and then let them go. It is imperative that you do the self work if you want to overcome this. This requires you to go within. The answers are not out there. The answers are not in another diet, another job, another boyfriend or girlfriend, a baby, a new dress, another home, or any other thing you can conceive. The answers lay within. And I’ll warn you.. it will be messy. It will be HARD. It will be full of grief and so many other unpleasant and extremely uncomfortable things. But one thing is for sure. It will be worth it. It will be the most worth it thing in your entire life. I promise you this. You will find true joy within. For you will finally find you. It will be a time to celebrate you. What others say or do won’t matter anymore. You will finally learn and feel what autonomy is. Most importantly, you will finally choose you in your decisions. You won’t compromise or reduce your self for anyone else ever again. It will feel great. It will feel empowering. It will feel right. It will feel SO much lighter. It will feel freer. It won’t just feel all those things… it will BE all those things. because you will finally BE YOU. and that’s a pretty damn great thing to be! 🙂
In a world where we have to pay for constant needless distractions incessantly, not choosing you comes at too high of a cost.
I love you all so much. Peace, love & light my dear souls. :)))