Today as I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman who lives her life in her way. As I make great strides in my life, I watch it unfold as if watching a movie.
I catch myself rehashing negative comments and situations that I have lived through making me who I am today. As I look back, I ask if I could have done things differently. Then I realize that I did the best I could with what I had.
I realize that I love being me and the hell with those who do not agree or have something to say about it, including family. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I am the only one who answers for what I did with my life and how I lived.
Let’s go back some years ago. I was on the hamster wheel trying to impress others or finding myself always saying yes to other's demands or wishes.
My life was for everyone else to run. Boundaries and self-confidence were at an all-time low. It was common knowledge that if I said NO, one could guilt me into it and I would do as commanded. My fears of being alone, unloved and worthless were high up there.
The put downs just kept coming. I could give you example after example. One that springs to mind was a huge accomplishment in my professional life. I became the supervisor of an accounting department. I was excited to share and be exalted, (wow, look at you!) - this was NOT the reaction I received. Instead I heard, “Who would have made you a supervisor? You didn’t even get your college degree."
Spiraling downward, I was wounded and did the beating myself up thing along with some self-loathing added to it. It wasn’t until I removed myself completely from all influencing factors, looked at myself and asked the hard questions.
- Who am I?
- What do I stand for?
- What am I doing with my life?
- How can I make a difference?
The “who am I” stumped me for a while because I let everyone’s wishes and wants for me paramount. I truly didn’t know what I wanted or what I stood for. It wasn’t until those pieces fell into place that realized that I was proud of “who I am” - knowing that growth is an ever changing constantly evolving process. I'm totally okay with that. I have fun with it.
What I did notice was that as I discovered more about myself and was trying new experiences, other people became very uncomfortable. The negative comments flew, the nods of disapproval kept coming, yet I stayed my path. I knew that the person I was getting to know was one I really liked and wished to spend more time with.
This led to distancing myself from some people who I was very close with. There was no falling out. It was just something that needed to happen on its own.
I put my boundaries in place to show all those around me, as well as myself, that I truly was worthy and that it was time for me to shine. This brought outrage and discomfort for others.
My feelings were easily hurt. Couldn’t they see the wonderful person that I am? It took some time for me to realize what was happening. All of their issues were being brought to the surface and I was unwilling to become the puppet so that the puppet masters could feel in control again.
My wish for you is to love yourself for who are and what you stand for. Letting others control, manipulate or discourage you is not self-love. Sometimes we need to go through the pain of releasing others from us so that we may truly shine and become what we are meant to.
Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.