I spent the majority of my life being a perfectionist, a people pleaser, with an I want to belong mentality. I believed so deeply that this was the way to go about life that I would act these ways at all costs. No price was too high, even if it meant that it cost my health (mental, emotional, physical) dearly. This is the way I thought I was supposed to be. This is the way that I thought it was done.

The trouble with this way is that I was barely able to keep my head above water most days. Some days one eye would twitch. Some days both. Some days it took all the energy I had just to get out of bed. Some days I would finch as my husband or children would try to touch me. Some days I would stand at my classroom door trying like heck to hold back the tears. Some days I would wonder what it would be like if I kept driving and never stopped.

I needed saving. I needed someone to tell me how to fix what was broken inside me. I needed someone to show me the way. Or at least that’s what I thought.

It turns out that I was living as if there was only one way to live and that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no one way. There is no right way. The only way is the way that works for you.

And so I learned to check in with myself and see what I need. I learned to give myself permission to slow down, stop, and pivot. I learned how to set and maintain boundaries. I learned how to speak up for what I need. I learned to say no and to not feel guilty about it. I learned that in order to be able to let others love me, truly love me, that I have to first love myself.

So now I put in the work. Some days it’s more work than others. Some days it’s harder than others. But no one is coming to save me and that’s okay because I can do it myself.

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