When I saw this image it spoke to me. Actually it yelled at me … that type of in your face yelling that you can’t ignore. If it had a voice it would be saying, “YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION TO BE YOU!”
Bottom line … do you have a deep, inner desire to be FREE?
The last few years have been a very growing and reflective time for me and I experienced some huge growth both personally and spiritually. One major realization that surfaced is that I have not loved myself like I deserved for the bulk of my life.
My love has always been given to others in magnified amounts, and there is no way I’d want to change that, BUT I haven’t given even a fraction of my boundless love to myself. My spirit has been starving and I didn’t even realize it.
Basically my life has been lived for others and I always … ALWAYS … put myself last. It was my choice and one I was happy with but there was a martyr mentality in my thinking. I’d sacrifice for others or for a cause because I WAS A GOOD PERSON. After all, they were more important than what I wanted or needed anyway. Right?
Can you see a HUGE problem with my thinking? The message I gave myself was that I was a good person when I earned it through self sacrifice. I actually told myself that this GOOD PERSON title had to be earned.
The truth is that I AM GOOD no matter what! I AM DESERVING no matter what! This is my spiritual right, not something that needs to be earned.
This self sacrificing message is what I poisoned my spirit with for years. Now I understand that it was my own insecurities, my lack of self-love, that pushed me to build myself up by always doing for others. It was my way of feeling self worth. It validated me.
Pretty sad huh?
The reality is that I am not alone in this way of thinking … not even close. There are so many people out there who are in the same mold. They live their lives, day in and day out, trying to please others without giving any consideration to themselves.
They even feel guilty when they do anything for themselves! (This is definitely a topic for another post from me. I have tons to say on this topic)
So after spending most of my adult life in this ‘I really don’t matter’ mode I’m finally at a place of love for myself. It has taken work to recondition my thinking … lots of reading, alone time, meditation and deliberate love directed at myself.
A Couple of Discoveries –
I endured so much self imposed pressure to be all things to all people that I spread myself dangerously thin at times. My vessel was empty because I never filled it. Without me realizing it, this impacted my ability to give fully to others at time. It even caused resentment and anger on occasion.
The healing began when I reached a place of feeling as important as anyone else. It was imperative that I embraced the fact that my thoughts, my feelings and needs are valid and real and should not take the back burner to others.
So with all of that being said, here are my current goals:
Consider my needs and treat myself as kindly and thoughtfully as I would others.
Care for myself with the same butt load of love that I’ve always given to others and to realize IT IS NOT SELFISH. I have an endless amount of love to give so I am not taking from others by giving to myself.
Accept myself and realize I have so much good in me! I am human and still learning lessons and, since there is no human perfection, I strive to quit beating myself up for mistakes. It is important that I face the parts of me I don’t like so much … look them straight in the eye and, because they teach me much needed lessons, I am even learning to embrace them.
Realize that sometimes I need to say NO to others. This is a tough one for me but I now realize that I am not responsible for everybody else’s needs. Of course I’ll continue to help others and to give endless love but not at the sacrifice of myself. I can give only if my vessel is full enough to give.
The toughest one for me …. Be ok with the fact that some of this might disappoint others and to accept that it is his or her choice to feel that way.
The best thing about all of this is that the more
I give to myself the more I have to give to others!
This self-love and acceptance is a work in progress and will never be completed. It is a day by day, hour by hour, process. All I can do is constantly keep myself in check and make sure I don’t slip back into old habits.
For now I am feeling some FREEDOM like I’ve never known it before and it feels good! I now feel love for the beautiful and unique spirit that I am. Most importantly, I don’t need others to validate me … I don’t need their permission to be me.
I am the butterfly who is working her way out of the self-imposed cocoon and I can’t wait to fully spread my gorgeous wings. I’m seeing a glimpse of them and boy oh boy … they are something else!
Go love yourself today. You are a special, one of a kind, EXQUISITE spirit. Embrace that fact and DANCE through life like only you can.