The worry of your authenticity being rejected by people you love, please, cast that aside right now.
You’ll experience resistance to your boundaries and backlash to your truth, but I urge you to walk your path anyway.
Every year I wonder if there’s anything left to learn about my journey, and then every year delivers a powerful lesson.
2019 brought me disappointment in the form of people I once thought highly of. It wasn’t one person or even one event that led to this, but multiple people and a breakdown in communication. There were people I cared about who were not honest with their intentions, who didn’t speak their truth and, in some cases, put their head in the sand and hoped the truth would speak for itself.
You could say I’m an overthinker, but I’d say I have an inquisitive mind that searches for the truth. A slight change in tone, body language and even contact is enough to set my spidey senses tingling, and then I observe and gather the evidence before I make a conclusion. Cool, calm, controlled. Only, 2019 didn’t afford me any of that and I was faced with realities that made me sob like a baby.
In the days away from 2020, I vowed that those people wouldn’t get the chance to disappoint me again. And instantly, as though my soul was waiting for the confirmation, I felt a renewed sense of self.
There’s something to be said in actively spending time connecting with yourself. Like, much more than bubble baths and going to the cinema on a solo date, although they are awesome activities. I mean sitting with your thoughts, writing down your ideas, examining your emotional responses, unpicking your triggers, really tuning into what makes you tick.
An example of that is the evening that I’m typing this. It’s actually 2:22 am on 29/12/2019 and I’m wide awake. After having a late afternoon nap and then binge-watching some YouTube tarot videos, I could feel my mind was switched on. I knew that if I tried to sleep, it just wouldn’t happen. I could watch a film but my mind wouldn’t be into it. I needed to stimulate my mind so I decided to go to bed with a book. I finished it around 90 minutes ago and I am wide awake. I’ve tried different sleeping positions, playing Words With Friends 2, browsing the internet and just lying very still, but sleep has slipped away.
I needed to write, needed to fill this space with my thoughts and ideas and teachings. So here I am, in the middle of the night, tapping away at my laptop, looking for a release of creative self-expression. And it feels SO GOOD.
In the last few years, I’ve slowly unpeeled my layers to reveal the vulnerable parts of me. I’ve created a personal brand for myself; so much of my healing and journey is very public. I’ve transformed under the watchful eye of an online audience, but it’s the transformation I feel on the inside that matters the most.
You have to remember you are doing all of this for you.
Every year I’m reminded that personal development is ongoing. A couple of years ago, my biggest challenge was implementing boundaries, despite never having them in the first place. At the moment my biggest challenge is dealing with the backlash and resistance from people who knew the old me. I feel like they reject this evolved version of me and I must conform to their demands or be excommunicated.
I’m choosing to leave history behind so I can create a better future.
I’ve talked about it for years but I believe 2019 was the year that I really stopped people-pleasing. I learned to ask difficult questions and initiate uncomfortable conversations in a search for the truth. Not to be a pain in the ass, but because I know I’m an overthinker. I know I’ll obsess about the unknown until I’m spiralling and depression takes over my life again. Do I want that to happen? No. I know that my mind will make small things seem catastrophic, so I’d much rather seek clarity. It helps to put my mind at rest and helps me avoid feeling like everything is going to shit.
It’s true that our circles change as we change.
I thought I’d created strong emotional bonds with people who were instrumental to my growth over the last 7 years, and I was heartbroken when I learned it meant nothing. I’ve changed so much since I had my second daughter, it was just really nice to have friends who knew me from before. They were witness to my growth and could truly vouch for how much I’d developed from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Having them in my life for so long felt like it meant something but I guess it didn’t to them.
Sometimes we attach ourselves to the people from our past because they know so much about us. They know our lowest moments and our secrets, our stories of struggle and accomplishment, and everything else in between. You almost convince yourself that because they know everything about you, you will be connected forever. But it didn’t work out that way.
I could obsess about all the reasons why I must be a bad person for all of this to happen (including what I choose not to share). I could entertain the idea of how I’m unlovable and how I should tone down my character so people will accept me, but I won’t. Three years ago, I might have, but not today. I don’t believe I’m a bad person, and I love myself enough to know I’m deserving of love.
My self-love journey began with me as a fragile shadow who was plagued by insecurities and fears. But that isn’t who I am anymore. I’m excitable and positive and I believe in myself a hell of a lot. Sometimes this level of confidence is too loud for those who are in deep unhappiness. Sometimes my happiness or optimism is too much for someone who thrives on negativity. Often my honesty is too blunt for those who live for false pleasantries.
While I once would have played along so I could fit right in, my evolved values just won’t allow me to do it anymore, and this has cost me. But then, pretending to be someone I’m not would have cost me more and that is how I make my peace.
So, if you’re on your journey and you’re met with the resistance, please don’t stop. Not everybody will understand your development but that’s totally okay. Why? Because it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
Cast aside your worries about everyone else and focus on yourself.
When you’ve worked hard to address your insecurities, identify your triggers, build boundaries, release baggage, laugh again and be happy, anyone who truly loves you would be happy for you.
That’s what a counsellor told me and that’s what makes sense.