Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less me. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space. I choose to honor my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose to make self-care a priority. I choose me.
I am not angry, although I have every right to be. I hold no grudges, for my life is to be lived positively and healthy. There is no use nor worth in thinking of those who have hurt me- they have moved on.
I have control over some things, and other things are out of my control-that is okay. I will let go of the things that I cannot control in my life, I will accept these facts. Having bad thoughts do not ruin my day, it’s just a sore moment. Flashbacks do not define me, they are not real, I do not have to relive what happened to me.
I am, and will be always be okay in the end. I am stronger than this. I am a Warrior. I am still healing and growing and learning. I will never be perfect, and that is okay. Perfection is unrealistic. I am human. I am valid. I am loved. I love the person I am, and the person I am to become.
There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way. It doesn’t need to be painful or empty, you need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write notes on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others, smile a lot. Do all things with love, but don’t romanticize life like you can’t survive without it. Live for yourself and be happy on your own. It isn’t any less beautiful I promise
Last week in therapy (and this week will be as well) has been focused on empathy and social relationships.
At first, I didn’t really put much effort into considering the materials we’ve been using as I tend to think I am a fairly empathetic person overall, but I’ve definitely noticed when he’s pushed me to engage a bit more actively with the materials and not just read them and “understand them in theory,” that while I am a fairly empathetic person overall, I struggle to be as empathetic as might be useful in certain situations, when my own emotions are quite high (particularly anger and anxiety, as I don’t deal well with these.) (And that’s generally when empathy might count the most…)
To some degree there’s also a backwards kind of thing that happens with empathy for me, because I find that empathy, in itself, ties into a fairly sensitive personality style which can sometimes hinder my relationships because I struggle with boundaries. Caring in appropriate amounts, with appropriate boundaries for both me and others, is going to be something I continue to work on. It’s more beneficial that way, for all parties.
Understanding doesn’t mean encouraging or saying “this behaviour/action, etc. is okay.” What empathy brings into the situation is understanding about why someone does something or feels what they feel, etc. It doesn’t pass judgement as to whether that is “right” or “wrong.”