Mercy sister…it’s exhausting trying to be all the things to all the people all the time. So exhausting in fact that when we fall prey to this way of being, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are, start playing roles and get lost in the chaos. I have lived various versions of this story over and over again. It’s not fun and when you are unclear about who you are and what you want it can feel lonely, scary and very dysregulating. It’s hard to know where to start when the need for change hits. It can be tough to find the energy and seem easier to avoid and numb. At least for a little while. And then like most things, it all catches up with you.
I have been on a bit of a quest to figure out what it is that leads so many of us to put everyone and everything and all the opinions of all the people ahead of ourselves. I have done a lot of reading, studying, feeling, podcast listening, writing and lots of talking, talking and more talking with women around this topic. And this is one of my current conclusions…with few exceptions most of us have been taught since childhood that our relationship with ourselves matters much less than our relationship with others. This is what most of us saw all around us. That our opinion of ourselves and everything else matters less than everyone else’s. That pleasing, placating, avoiding conflict, fixing and stuffing feelings makes us likable. No one told us or showed us that we are not designed to be compared. That no one can do what we can do the way we can do it. Instead, like generations before us we have marinated in images and media and messiness, unfelt feelings, unresolved issues and rules and a culture that relentlessly pushes, pressures, compares and competes whispering, “You need to be different. Buy this, think that, lose this, believe me, you can’t trust yourself, it’s better over there, numb that stuff, why can’t you be more like ….” And it’s the consistency of it all that has led us to conclude that something is wrong with us….when nothing could be further from the truth.
When we start to unlearn and come from a place of self-compassion, self-forgiveness and self-acceptance we stake our claim on our lives and move towards self-sovereignty. Self-sovereignty means that I am my own person and I am responsible for me. I make my decisions, use my voice even when it trembles, set my own boundaries, decide what works and doesn’t work in my life, change my mind, advocate on my own behalf and anything else I want to do. I am me. I am responsible and accountable for my behavior and I don’t require your approval to know that I am okay. Self-sovereignty won’t erase hard to feel feelings, create perfect lives, make everyone like you, eliminate tough days, months or years or be a quick fix but it will allow you to come back to yourself, learn your worth and stay connected to your wisdom. It’s all about braving the process of having an authentic relationship with yourself. You are ready. I just know it. Baby steps are more than enough. You can even crawl. Hand over heart. Deep breath. Slowly begin to move in your own direction. You are who you have been waiting for.