When "Pretending" Isn't Working Anymore

 
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It wasn't working anymore...

...pretending I wasn't overwhelmed, frustrated and burned out... I knew something had to change.

But what?

It seemed like everything turned into a trigger:

"Hey, what's for dinner?" he'd ask innocently.

"I haven't had time, so you can make something yourself if you're hungry," I'd snap.

Or, "what did you do today?" he'd ask.

"Nothing," I'd lie.

I didn't want to tell him I had google searched "therapists near me", "how to be happy" and "how to stop caring what other people think."

I didn't want to tell him I had been crying on and off all day because I was depressed - I didn't even want to admit it to myself.

I didn't want him to know just how bad the storm was inside my mind. It felt like endless tsunamis hitting me repeatedly.

I was so angry at my past for forming me into a woman who thought she had to solve everyone else's problems - make everyone else happy - do all the things expected of me.

I was so unaware of the (pardon my french) crap-load of guilt and shame I was unwittingly piling onto myself when I wouldn't make other people happy - when I would do something they didn't approve of - when I'd be desperate for them to be proud of me so I'd take on too many responsibilities - and inevitably have no time to breathe. When I'd think, "Of course I can help!" And then I'd imagine their words of affirmation and gratitude for my contribution.

I didn't know who I was. I was completely lost. I didn't know my own value, the values that were important to me, none of it.

I'd never given myself permission to explore those. I didn't know I had the option.

Slowing things down was essential for me to gain clarity. I had to intentionally carve out time to pay attention to my mind. My feelings. My thoughts.

"But I don't want to talk about my feelings. They are too painful," I thought.

That was precisely the reason I needed to. That's where the healing would come.

Getting everything out of my head, examining it without judgment. Looking at how my thoughts affected my feelings. Determining if the thoughts were true; all of it was essential to understanding myself, and how I got to where I was.

And once I understood how I got to where I was, I also saw that I was in charge of taking myself to another place. I had so much more control than I thought.

Not control of other people (which I was well-practiced in attempting) but control over myself - which, as it turns out, is infinitely more gratifying.

And now, I'm in awe.

I'm living the life I used to dream about - and thought was impossible for me.

I'm no longer ashamed of my actions - even when I'm not proud of them.

Please, please, please - if you don't change anything about yourself, take this one step: Decide to be kind to yourself.

Stop the abuse you're inflicting on yourself by saying, "You're not good enough. You're just a failure. You should have known better. You'll always need their approval."

Just decide.

Say, "I treat myself with respect. I may have spoken harshly to myself in the past, but I'm becoming a new person. I'm worth being kind to myself."

And once you're committed to that, only then can you begin to unravel the belief you have about yourself - that you need other people's approval, validation, acceptance - in order for you to be happy.

First things first - be kind to yourself.

Without kindness to yourself, you'll never escape the overwhelming spiral of frustration, overwhelm, confusion and stress because you "can't say no" to others.

So today my friends, choose kindness. ♥️