Updated: Nov 25, 2020
The message I was telling everyone without even opening my mouth:
"Don't value me, because I don't value myself".
Growing up I had two LARGE older brothers and high energy younger sister. I myself was for sure a handful! I was taught early on to advocate for myself and to be assertive. My mom would constantly tell me to stand up tall and speak up.
Yet, as a grown woman when I was myself, I often felt like I was too much for most people.
I would go on dates and men would say, “Wow, you are intimidating."
I was so confused about how to respond to that comment. "Ummm thank you? I'm actually really approachable..."
Was it because I was tall? Was it because I had opinions? Was it because I made eye contact?
As I grew older and was beaten down by the world and a bad marriage, I shrunk. I would make less eye contact, had fewer opinions, tried to just make others happy at my own expense for the sake of having peace.
When I got divorced it all hit me, I LOST MYSELF! What the hell happened? I had to reinvent myself again like many do after a divorce.
I wasn't enough for myself, constantly searching for love in every form possible outside of myself but it didn't work. Not for long.
How you carry yourself tells the world chapters about you.
The deep dark stuff that you think you are hiding from others, it wears like chains. That bad marriage, childhood trauma, low self-worth, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and the list continues to grow.
I can see it and those that pay attention can see it. It weighs you down; each chain becoming heavier and heavier, drowning the light you have until it burns out.
Some people will be kind and understanding to you when they recognize it and others will use it for their benefit. You will attract toxic people and situations unknowingly if you aren't aware.
What I realize now is those comments weren't about me but rather about the person saying them. Insecurity or assumptions they had and carried with them. Those was their chains not mine.
Today, I am a firm believer in working on the inside as a catalyst to change the outside. If you have baggage or bad habits, do the work. Get a therapist, a coach, a support system. You are responsible for you now, no one else. Not your parents not your family. Just you.
However sometimes on the outside you need to "fake it until you make it."
Hold yourself up, pick your face up, look people in the eye, share your thoughts, be confident in your abilities and what you bring to the table. Share opinions, take up space, be you. Do the work on yourself and shed those chains and then you won't attract the toxic people but rather you will bring more amazing friends and relationships into your life!
The people who you deserve, who have also done the work, are waiting for you on the other side. But you have to do the work to get there! These people will become your tribe, and they'll never call you intimidating or make you feel like you are "too much."
I wish for all people to feel comfortable in their own skin, to see their strengths, to work on their struggles. And to love themselves in a way that they no longer feel lonely when they are alone but rather at peace that they have themselves and that's more than enough.
I am proud to say I truly love myself, perfectly imperfect, always trying to grow, I enjoy spending time with me, I enjoy investing in me.
Because ultimately the best version of me is not only the best for me but for everyone around me and for the world.
Until next time,