My life has had no single “defining moment.” Rather, I faced times in my life when I needed to take a stand for myself, or be lost forever, living my life by someone else’s design, not by my own.
I know where you are.
Internal anger and lack of confidence ruled my world. I was a runner. Mine was a deep anger that was turned in on myself. My stomach was always in knots, and I swallowed my voice, sulking and shutting down. Or, I could go off in an instant.
My parents taught me: “You only give 99% of yourself to anyone and the other 1% you keep, because you will go mad if you give yourself away by loving too deeply. Never let anyone know what you are thinking. Never let anyone know your business because they could use it against you.” That was how I was raised; that is what I knew then. How would I survive? I was so emotionally disconnected!
Who would I talk to; who would hear my secrets? I kept my secrets to myself. I found a way to go on, which was to work and work. I had to be good at whatever I did. It took a long time to learn how ask for what I wanted. I had to learn to speak up for myself in a way that made people listen to me.
I thought I was confident, until I had to say I did not want to be married anymore. It took a long time to do that and a long time to discover what freedom was for me. I had never lived by myself. My confidence and self-esteem were in the crapper. I kept that hidden except when I had to make choices. I had none. I lived in the space of not being worth it. Negative internal conversations ran my life: I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, worthy enough.
Today, it is such a pleasure to know that these are just conversations. They will never go away, but now, I know they are not real. It takes commitment to live my life. I feel connected to others, and because of that, today I express myself freely. I own my voice, speak my truth and live life my way and running a successful business.