It’s real easy for me to seek outside myself for the answers.
What should I wear?
What should I say?
What books should I read?
What should I eat?
What course should I take?
Who should I follow?
What should I study?
Who should I trust?
My questions all some version of “What’s the right thing to do?”
One of my biggest drivers is to not be wrong.
In that state, I was at the mercy of everyone else while simultaneously reinforcing the (total BS, but very real) story that I can’t be trusted.
Here’s what I learned to do
Step 1 – I redefined “right”
For me, what’s “right” is what feels good for me at the moment.
My inner protector immediately said, “Absolutely not. We cannot trust ourselves with what feels good.” 👈🏻That’s part of our patriarchal programming.
I listened and acknowledged their fears. “You’re right. It is scary. And, it is going to be super fucking uncomfortable until it’s not and that’s okay. We’re going to be with it together. I’m going to be with you and we’re going to learn how to move with the discomfort and fear.”
And we did.
And we are.
Step 2 – Practice the ask
I ask myself + my body what she wants. Wants to eat, wants to wear, wants to read, wants to study, wants to do at this moment.
I ask her if and how she wants to move, when she wants to wake up, when she wants breaks, who she wants to work with and what she wants to do for fun.
Step 3 – I communicate with her + take action on her desires
Sometimes we take action right away and sometimes it’s later that day and sometimes we negotiate to a different day.
I practice trusting her by letting her lead.
And, sometimes I find myself wanting to ask someone if they think I should take a course or hire a coach or take a program or buy the book and in those moments, I smile and I pause.
I remind myself who I am and what I know and I seek an answer from the only person who knows what I want.
Now I DO believe in external support.
It’s important + necessary.
The support I invest in is support that helps ME tap into MY answers.
Why? Because I’m fucking brilliant about me.
Just like YOU are fucking brilliant about YOU and anyone who has told you differently (even if it’s you) is lying.
They are likely lying because they love you and are trying to keep you safe. And they are lying about you.
You can unlearn the stories.
You can heal your relationship with your reflection.
You can come safely home to who you really are.
I don’t understand why I’m so tired…
the problem is, most of us ignore them because they are so accepted and expected that we don’t recognize them for the red flags they are
it’s called being an adultwe saypull it togetherput your big girl panties onjust do itwhat’s wrong with youwe askso-and-so has it worse than youyou’re so lazy
it’s not that badeveryone i know is friedi’m too busyi don’t have timetoday is the ONLY day to get things donelook at our to-do listhe needs methey need meshe needs meit’s finei’m finei’m fine
the cannibalistic cycle
of miserable determination
consumed by the me
i now be
still alive in me
the scathing, self-loathing
giving birth to the breath
finally willing to feel
allowing them to melt
all of the me
i spent my life
pretending to be
the pretty me
the polished me
the perfect me
i felt the burning heat
and stood there
taking my breath
in the me
i used to be
which is why
i used to be
𝘜𝘚𝘌𝘋 to not feel
of the heat
on my sensitive skin
the me i used to be
terrified of the inevitable
the fear inside
i used to be
grew into fascination
i found myself
by the burning
masochistic in my curiosity
wanting to step
in the me
i used to be
unable to take
until the moment
yearning for everything
i’d spent years protecting
for my fragile front
to be decimated
pulled into the magnetic flames
of my own vulnerable authenticity
ready to be reborn
1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
- an intense feeling of deep affection.
- a great interest and pleasure in something.
- a person or thing that one loves.
- feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).
Self-love feels like one of the most talked about concepts, yet I believe most of us don’t DO self love.
While we are familiar with the notion, for so many of my sisters, self love is simply not an ACTIVE practice.
It sounds good in theory and we read books and burn sage and purchase crystals and get manicures, but when it comes to actually executing an intentional practice…
We say things like, “That’d be nice. I wish I had time for that luxury…”
The truth is, the active practice of self love demands us to shift our seat on our long task list. We have to move ourselves from dead last to first. Self love calls forth a bold declaration from the depths of our soul. An unapologetic battle cry…
“My needs are JUST as important as your needs.”
Because dead last? It is killing us.
We are quick to leap at the opportunity to serve and give and show up for another, but “GASP!” how dare you ask us to show up for ourselves? I mean, we’re soooooooo busy.
The habitual “I’m fine” slowly erodes at our self-esteem and self-worth as we seemingly, suddenly find ourselves angry and resentful waiting for others to give us what we haven’t given ourselves. We’re impatiently waiting for a person or an accomplishment to come along and validate us. And when they don’t? We become irrational and irritable because they haven’t given us what we haven’t asked for and yet believe we are owed.
But friend, it’s you. The love you’re seeking is within. There is NO external source that can love you enough… validate you enough… to satiate the hunger rumbling deep in your belly.
I snapped this picture in April 2018. I was leaving a week long transformational coaching training and it was during this week — just one year ago — that I fell in love with me. I released shame and guilt I’d been carrying for years. I stopped punishing myself and I chose love. Intentionally. I saw the wholeness of who I was and I loved her with the ferocious compassion of a mama bear protecting her cubs.
I didn’t know how
But you showed me
I didn’t know if I could
But you believe in me
I didn’t know I was worthy
But you reminded me
I didn’t know if I was enough
But you lovingly affirmed my truth
I forgot where to look
But then I saw your reflection
It is impossible to love others if we are not actively in love with ourself first. And, if you’re like most people, you are going to have to enlist support in cultivating new habits. We are simply not programmed to choose us.
In “Pussy – A Reclamation” Regena Thomashauer says, “It’s very difficult for us to say yes to our own pleasure. We have no experience prioritizing our own joy or making an investment in ourselves. But it is very easy to say yes to responsibility and obligation.”
This has to change.
It’s time to change.
And, I believe we are most effective in transforming our lives and habits when we have the support of tribe.
My new friend Sharon, the founder of GO LOVE YOURSELF– a self care and self love subscription box- shares the following on her website:
…as March’s featured author Kelly Corrigan notes, “you can’t really be loved if you can’t bear to be really known.”
And you deserve to take the time for yourself to know yourself, and love yourself, to know others, and to love others, and to be known by others, and to be loved by others. You don’t have to go it alone.
Sharon believes that self care is an action and self love is the result.
Awareness in and of itself doesn’t bring change. Motivation, while fun to experience, doesn’t bring change. What does bring change is ACTION. A commitment to DOING what needs to be done to change our lives and increase our self love and happiness.
As Sharon shares, “if you’re ready to be the change you want to see, take the actions you need to take, do the work, and connect with a group of women who are committed to truly living their best lives, we’re here for you.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Take the first action step in choosing YOU and get yourself the support you’re worthy of.
If you have any questions about the support Sharon provides, feel free to contact her directly through her website: https://www.thegoloveyourselfbox.com/about_us or if you have questions for me, send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For so long I pretended I was unworthy. Like I had to do more and be more to earn the right to want. Ugh. “Earn the right to want…”
The law had been written and I had declared, “I never was nor would I ever be enough.” I had crowned myself “unworthy” and so it was.
Eventually, I stopped wanting. It wasn’t safe. It was too risky.
My dreams and desires were trapped. Locked inside my soul, fighting to come out– to come alive. Longing to be spoken out loud into the Universe, fueled by the oxygen of my breath. But, I’d build a wall to keep them in.
And yet I stood there yelling about how I can’t dream and how I don’t know what I want, but the reality was, I’d built the wall to trap my desires. I put the padlock on the chains, I latched it closed, the lock was on MY side of the door, and I was the one person holding the only key.
And yet, I was angry and throwing a fit about how it wasn’t fair.
Like many of you, I was waiting. Telling myself, I’d express my desires if a few standards were met…
I had to know it was safe.
I needed “them” to prove they could be trusted with my desires.
And more than that? I needed to know for sure that what I wanted would come true before I dare speak anything out loud.
Can you relate?
Good luck with that.
You’re going to wait forever.
Because you’re requesting the impossible. You’re demanding an unknown prediction of the future so that you can ensure everything will work out the way you want it to and if and only if you get the guarantee will you then come back to the present and take action and speak your desires aloud.
Pretending you “don’t know” feels safer.
Pretending feels more comfortable than confronting the truth: Your desires and dreams are not safe with you.
How do I know? Because I wasn’t safe with me for years. I couldn’t trust myself so I hunted for my answers– sought out my dreams– in others. “You tell me what I should want,” I’d say.
My gluttonous consumption of information and my addiction to the intoxication– high off of the answers others gave me– had me waking up everyday with a pounding headache and a hangover from hell because the shots they poured and what I guzzled down didn’t have the capacity to satiate my soul’s real longing.
Things began to change for me when I admitted all of this to myself and recognized that the solutions I was getting were to the questions I was asking, but I wasn’t asking the right questions.
Friend, it is possible to live a life liberated. It is possible to dismantle and transform the lie you’re living disguised as a life you’re not living, extinguish your suffering, unlock the padlock, and release your soul.
people frequently ask me this question:
how do i stop giving a sh*t about what other people think?
i kid. but not really. the truth is, anyone who isn’t a sociopath is going to care what other people think.
so, the question is flawed. i’ll explain.
i have a friend who acts without attachment to the opinions of others. i have always viewed her as a mythical creature possessing a skill i desperately desired. we were hanging out a few years ago when i asked her, “have you always been able to not care what other people think?” i can clearly remember how i felt when she replied, “i’ve always been this way. it’s just who i am.”
it was a gut punch.
dang. so, what? i’m destined to be stuck in this perpetual cycle of people pleasing for the rest of my life?
now, i’m not saying that answer wasn’t true for her. in fact, i believe it is and i believe it is for many. the problem was, i wasn’t the many.
and if you are not the many either, keep reading…
first, let’s change the question:
how can i care deeply, AND not give a sh*t?
friend, you can learn how to care deeply AND not give a sh*t. you can hear the opinions of others AND not be stopped by them. you can learn to process feedback as feedback AND not take it as a personal attack. you can learn to understand that other people are sharing their experiences of you AND not take on their experiences as your own truth.
now, this is an individual conversation filled with individual answers, but from my experience– both as a coach and as someone who lived most of her life addicted to attention and approval; most of us who are in the cycle of people-pleasing have equated our safety and stability with making others happy.
i will be okay if everyone else is okay.
the danger here is that when we outsource our stability, safety, and security; we are not in control of the one thing we have any control over: OURSELVES.
we become paranoid in our compulsive obsession of what other people are thinking, preoccupied with personal manipulation in an attempt to please them, and completely sacrificing self in the process.
you can care deeply and not be stopped by their opinions, but in order to do that, you have to be willing to confront and heal your relationship to your own judgments of you.
nothing anyone says about you has the power to shake you; unless there is a part of you that believes the things they are saying.
we have to first, heal our relationship with our reflection.
when there is no longer personal pain projected, we are much better equipped to take action on our goals without weaving our judgments into the conversation pretending they belong to others.
i’d love to hear your thoughts…