This past summer I had a life changing experience at Wild Woman Fest when, one of the guest speakers, Carrie Grossman, posed the question, "What keeps you from loving yourself?" I was immediately hit with the word CONTROL.
I am afraid that if I let myself fully love all of who I am, that the size of me may be too much for the rest of the world. I might be too loud, too crazy, too outgoing, too weird, too sensitive, too caring, too needy, too hungry, too big, too heavy, too much. And, if I am too much of any of these things, I could be potentially disappointing someone else's expectation of who I am supposed to be and how I am supposed to operate on this planet.
So in order to live up to these made-up standards, I pressure myself to CONTROL my size. And where there is that CONTROL there is also judgement, guilt and shame. And when those words are involved there can be very little space for love.
This lighting bolt revelation was my first step into releasing myself from the pressures of being a "good girl" all the time.
You know her right? She's put together, she eats the right amount of food, she works out, she's got a good job, she puts other's before herself, she's always smiling, she doesn't drink too much, she doesn't get upset, she keeps a clean home, she takes care of finances, she's a good partner, she's mindful of her addictions and works on them, she's steady, she's nice, she's got her shit together.
And f*ck that sometimes, man. What I have learned so far about growing up is that it isn't always that pretty. In fact, it's rather messy. And I think there is this pressure to always appear that "you have your shit together." When really it's beyond OKAY to be on your own timeline still figuring it out. And be a beautiful mess while doing so.
So when I think about "freeing" myself, it's not to say that I want to live my life with no regard of anyone else. Instead, it means I want to live my life in honor of what is true for me regardless of the opinion of anyone else.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in what everyone will think of my choices that I totally ignore what is authentically true for me in a given moment. And that can have a detrimental impact to those I love, especially my partner. Because, if can't let my own self be free, how can I let him?
I must love me in order to love you and you must love you in order to love me.
Control can not exist in that above truth.
All this being said, I do love so many elements of my colorful self, but like all humans, there are some vaults that need illumination and TLC. And releasing control is one of those things I am working on.
Because I have a hunch that I am not alone in this matter, I thought I'd share a few beginning tools that I have been using.
1) Hear both thoughts first.
We tend think that our initial thoughts are our own. However, they are usually some sort of projection we have been outwardly taught to think by society. There is a choice to tune into a more internal voice that may be more in line to what is really true for us.
2) Breathe before I speak.
Before I react, I am honoring my breath first. This way I can hear all sides of the story as I described above and choose how I want to respond, if I even need to respond at all.
3) Get out of the house and off of my phone.
Holy facebook woe. A great way to get out of my own head, and out of the trap of comparing myself to where I "should" be right now, is to LOG OFF and get out of the house. Take a walk, get some fresh air, feel alive, take up space.
4) Be honest, own it, I dare you.
Honesty is the best policy yet a challenging one. In times where I feel like I need to bend the truth in order for my belief or choice to be accepted, I am trying to push myself to just OWN IT. Not apologize for it, be honest and trust my choices. It makes me feel so much more confident when I do.
So those are my thoughts. I would love to know yours. Let's keep this conversation going as I can feel I have a lot more growing within me from the topic.