Sunday, December 12, 2010

an important moment

i was remembering one of my most significant moments
in counseling years ago.

i had taken something that i felt shame over and brought
it to my counselor. it was a specific smaller moment.
just one of those things that added up.

she stopped me in my shame tracks and said she saw it
as a really good and legitimate thing i had done.

that i was taking care of myself. and i certainly wasn't
unreasonable in the way i did that.

i remember that moment.
cause i was sure that i 'failed' because i didn't put the
other person first.

i thought about that yesterday.
i really think it was the first time i ever experienced
someone telling me that it was a good thing to take care
of me. even if that involved putting me first.

how amazing, huh?

and it came from an 'authority' figure that i trusted.

now, the thing is, i was taking care of me. i was ending
a relationship i needed to end. i was taking the steps i
needed to take. i really was taking care of me.

but i never felt it was an okay thing to do.
i felt such shame over it.
i felt like i was so much the bad girl.
the selfish woman.

but i knew it was either be the bad girl and survive,
or be the good girl and die while i was still living.
i knew that.

but there was such shame in taking care of myself over
the needs of everyone else.

so yesterday as i remembered this moment, i realized why
it was important.

no one had ever told me that before.
or maybe it was no one i really trusted. not sure.
but here was someone i had come to trust a lot.
and i was hearing it for the first time.

i was 40 years old. and it was my first step into really
believing that it was okay.

someone recently expressed concern to me about posting
something on my facebook for fear someone else would get mad.

i wrote her a note.
asked her to think about this.....

speak your truth, live your truth, and do what feels right.
if anyone has a problem with it, then they have a problem.
and it's not yours.

as i typed that to her, it brought me back years and years
ago when i was finally learning that concept. and yeah,
i remember, it was no easy concept to get down.

the fear of 'them getting mad' is amazingly powerful.
the fear of being a bad girl....the selfish,
that stuff can be so strong.

i think i thought i was the last one left on the planet
who had to learn this. but as i talk to women around me,
i'm seeing that there's more out there who need to hear
this stuff.

and so i'm posting this with that in mind.

i've come a long way with that concept.
now i'm far beyond it's an 'okay' thing to do.
i'm deep into it's the only way to live.

we only have this one life (as far as i know)
why on earth do we just give it away over and over again?

it's yours.
take it and live it as the gift that it is.


Coleen said...

this is a good post...I guess the problem I have,on another level, is realizing I am no longer a "couple" and that it really is up to me now...Tis the Season to get these things smacked right into your face...and I cannot say I am dealing with it very well....
Heart Hugs,

Sherry said...

Kudos Terri,

I have two sayings when I start to fear the choices and reactions of others: "they gotta do what they gotta do" and "I cannot be responsible for anyone's insanity but my own." ;) They help me break the shame/guilt/responsibility cycle and move on.