Lies, Revised

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if the negative things you believed about yourself were erased, proved false, or fixed? What different choices would you make?

For the longest time, I lived in a version of the same story. I acted out familiar patterns as I became the lost girl waiting for someone to teach/fix me. I was unconsciously looking for someone to show me how to be. Having had parents who were limited in their ability to guide me, I came to others with a perpetually open heart, hoping to be loved and mentored. This left me so vulnerable.

This method seemed to work in my relationship with my mom when I was a child. I stayed confused and open to her input and control as she told me what to do. She did not encourage autonomy or independent thought, and so I feared expressing those things. This greatly affected my ability to cultivate my own inner strength. As I gained autonomy & a sense of agency, my relationship with my mom has suffered. However, my sense of self has improved and I’m able to see how the toxicity of the environments I grew up in and then later chose for myself have shaped me.

The other night, I had an encounter with two men who essentially broke my spirit a decade ago. I think they knew what they were doing at the time. But on this particular night, my old boss spoke to me and said things that had I believed back then would have changed the course of my life. The interaction shook me: what i had believed about myself was not necessarily how others saw me. Or maybe I’ve just changed and he could tell. Either way, the interaction was profound and left me wondering.

What if we are believing lies?! What if a person is awful to you because you are a reminder of someone from their past, or of themself? What if their narcissism leads them to vacillate between love/hate regularly? What if it actually has little to do with you? What if everyone else is not superior? What if it was all a game?

I think it’s time we rethink the negative things people have said to us, as well as the negative shame spiral it sends us down. Let’s dismantle our feelings of unworthiness and find a way to climb out of the pit and reclaim our power. We are not solely our bodies, our reputations, our successes or our past mistakes. We are not the sum of what others think of us.

In the future, I won’t let another person break my spirit. I know what i’ve been through and I know how far I’ve come. I don’t need to beg someone else to fix me or mentor me or approve of me so that I can finally be okay. Some people never will approve. Or they will, ten years later.

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