Do You Believe The Words?
FROM OCTOBER 12, 2022 (MOVING BLOG TO WEBSITE BLOG)
And what I'm really asking you is if you believe the shitty words you've been told in your life? I was reading through my blog posts since I started this journey in December and was blown away by a few things:
My first realization was that I have come a long way! This made me so happy to read. There was so much hurt, so much anger, so much confusion - and even though I still don't "understand" all the lessons, there is no more hurt, anger and confusion. In fact, at my last Reiki session I had this powerful feeling of gratitude wash over me. I was able to thank Clarissa for letting me go and to truly wish her well. I even had this compelling feeling to email her (which I didn't) but the peace that came with this feeling is something I cannot express in words. I was finally free to move on and live my life the way I want to live it and it felt so liberating.
My second realization is that I have been told and led to believe some VERY shitty things over my 47 years on this earth and for a long time, I was believing much of it. I will dive into this more as I carry on with this post but it's always in these "aha" moments that I feel so much overwhelm, so much growth, and that my trust in the universe is restored. Let me explain ....
As many of you are aware by now, I was sexually abused when I was 2.5 and again when I was 9. The words that were told to me when I was 2.5 definitely shaped my life in a way I wouldn't wish on anyone. For most of my life (I'm hopeful that when my time is up on this earth, this statement will no longer be true), I believed that I was not worthy of the love that was in my life. I was led to believe I was bad and that what I "did" would make it so I was hated. These words became part of the fabric of my everyday existence and as a result of them, I very much lived a life of crossing my "T's" and dotting my "i's" so that I could justify why I was in fact receiving love in all areas of my life. These were the first example of shitty words I was told that on a very deep level I believed.
Life went on and I did my best to live my life. I had my very high highs and very low lows coming to terms with these words and how much of an impact they had on my every day existence. Some days were freaking HARD and others were magical - such is the experience of life for most of us. Over the years, I was definitely impacted by other "words" said to me and about me - the most profound of those being that I am "too much".
I remember early on in my relationship with my ex-husband being told that my feelings were too big and in my moments of internal chaos that I should just "suck it up". This is by no means a reflection of who he is as a person because he truly is one of the most amazing humans and every single day I am grateful that I get to co-parent with him. All this is a reflection of was the ability to hold the space for me to work through my chaos and I understand that not everyone will have the capacity to hold space for the enormity of that mess. At the same time, this stuck with me and was just another notch on my "too much" belt; another reminder that I was in fact too much (not just my emotions & feelings, but ME).
Not being able to share these emotions and feelings because I felt like they were too much (or rather, I was too much) was incredibly hard and I believe the start of my struggles with stress, sleep, and a body that wouldn't process cortisol properly.
This led me in to my next experience of being too much and too big. Over the years of being with my ex, I was often told that I was being dramatic when the emotions kicked in. This makes me laugh today because I know with all of my being that I am NOT dramatic. In fact, I'd actually say I'm one of the most easy going humans around but that is what I started to believe. I was also told on repeat that I was too much and too big. I was told so many times that nobody would love me because I just came with too much - too much history, too much baggage, too much life, too much. It's interesting writing this now because I see how these words were used to manipulate and "keep" me out of a fear of losing me. This makes me sad because there was no need to do this; I was not going anywhere. At the same time, this infuriates me because words are so incredibly powerful and should never be used to manipulate someone because that person then starts believing those words.
I have worked so hard on myself over the years that to have words used against me like this is something I struggle hugely with. The people I let in to my innermost circle are ones that I need to trust and believe in; so I started believing these words because I truly trusted what I was being told. Why would I think differently when this person claimed to love me so very much?
There was a point in that relationship where I remember thinking to myself, "why do I feel hard to love? I am not hard to love, so why do I feel that way?" There was so much I couldn't make sense of that I had started feeling that way. Added to this was the fact that over the years, I had many people in my life tell me that my feelings were so big they had a hard time being there for me. These were things that I heard from the time I was a teenager until recently. Hearing words like this from people you love and hold special to you is incredibly hard. Why is it hard for someone to hold the space for me to work through how I am feeling? Why does it feel like I am abnormal when it comes to feeling things? Do others not feel things the way I do? How is it possible that I can literally feel soooooo many emotions all at one time and other people I know don't? Does feeling too much and too big also mean that I am too much and too big?
These were all questions that I have asked myself over and over and over again. These questions and my underlying doubt in my own worth due to the words said to me when I was so little led me to always hold back. I never felt comfortable letting someone fully see me because I just always had this feeling within that I would again be told I was too much. I mean why wouldn't I be told this again when I had been told this from the time I was a teenager until recently? This was a pattern I carried with me out of fear of losing the people I loved in my life; UNTIL NOW.
Since walking away from that relationship almost a year ago, I have learned that I am not too much. Not only have I learned that, I truly believe that I am not too much. With the help of counselling and reiki and writing, I got to a place where I accept me for me. I love big. I feel big. I always will. I LIKE this about me! I got to the place where I like me - where I am able to look myself in the eyes, smile and know that I will live each day with integrity and finish the day proud of who I am. This like has over time turned to love .... and that is a very huge thing for me. To go from someone who didn't feel worthy of love to someone who loves and accept themselves is such a massive shift and I am so proud of the work I have done. I am also so relieved to know that I will not carry those words with me in to my future and I am hopeful for a future where I can say that for most of my life, I have loved myself and believed myself worthy of love.
Over the summer, my counsellor asked me to do some work. She asked me to get super clear on what I want in a relationship so that I do not repeat past patterns and so that I attract the person in to my life that has the qualities and values that matter to me. She was very clear that this work needed to happen before I even contemplated dating so that I no longer tried to "fit" myself in to someone else's idea of who I was. I needed to move forward with a person who would allow me to be me 100% of the time. No more toning myself down for someone else and no more accepting less than I deserve. This was hard work for me. It felt hard because ultimately I know that I am a very easy going person. I enjoy the company of people I love and as a result, I'm pretty go with the flow. M told me that this was fine - I could keep this in mind but that I needed to think about what I WANTED and NEEDED in another person.
One of the things I love about my counsellor so much is that she is willing to share some of her own life with me. She shared with me her process of getting clear on what she wanted some 28+ years ago and how she is still married to her best friend and the love of her life because she was clear on what she wanted and needed. So I dove in to this work. I remember thinking things like kind to me, good to my kids, open to self-growth, active, and playful. I also remember thinking that I want to be with someone who loves music. Music is such a huge part of me. I think in song lyrics. I often need to go for "music baths" like someone who goes in to nature for "forest baths". To be honest, I often wonder how I have any hearing left with the volume I sometimes listen to my music. 😂 I just knew I needed someone in my life that would accept my music, share a love for music with me, and understand just how important music is for me. I also knew that whomever I met would have to accept me for me and that meant hold the space for me to feel all of the emotions as big as I do and to allow me to love as big as I do.
This leads me to the third and final thing I realized after going through my blog posts last night. When we get clear on what we want and need, the universe really does have your back. I am not fully ready to share right now because the bubble I am currently living in is so incredibly beautiful and special to me .... what I will say though is that never before in my life have I felt so seen, so accepted and so truly loved for who I am. I had a moment on Sunday of complete overwhelm .... so much love, so much gratitude, so much "I'm not sure I believed this was possible for me ...." I recently read a quote about how when you meet your soulmate, your heart doesn't skip a beat and your palms don't get sweaty; rather you feel calm, you feel peace, you feel home. I am home my friends - I am finally home. It's been one heck of a ride and I know I am stronger for it - I am also so incredibly happy to finally be home.
Thank you so much for being on this journey with me and for holding space for me to heal, to learn, to grow, to love. I am humbled and I am so incredibly grateful.