Recently, I left my therapist’s office feeling better than I did when I walked in, which was a plus, but I truly was in a state of deep reflection. She boldly asked me, “Heather, when are we going to start teaching people how to treat us?” knowing that I walked in with my heart and mind set on a theme centered on vulnerability. It’s something that I find myself struggling with in different phases of my life.
For quite some time, I’ve been battling waves of depression and deep anxiety. Last year I realized that I didn’t have to go through challenging times alone, but how do I shift my thinking when most of the time, I feel alone? I struggled with balancing relocation, starting a doctoral program, learning a new job, and still trying to succeed through accomplishments and accolades that were just hiding a woman struggling with perfectionism. Living in survival mode throughout my entire life and truly navigating hardships and challenges, all I know how to do is “make it work.”
Well, I’m tired. Sis needs a break.
With all that, sometimes I fall into isolation mode and I’m overwhelmed with the expectations from others and even my own crazy expectations that often come with hard deadlines. I think we continuously ask one another on social platforms, Who does the strong friend vent to? but in actuality there is a heavy feeling that comes with the thought. I find myself becoming exhausted with continuously holding space for others while not being vulnerable and honest enough to name where I currently may be. I distance myself from anyone who threatens my strengths, questions my competence, and doesn’t value my personal space. My therapist challenged me to still hold space for others and remain genuine but be more honest with myself and others during times where I’m down in the valley but appearing to be on the mountaintop.
These days, I’m becoming more self-aware and allowing myself grace while trying to name my wants and needs more directly. I also believe that distinguishing your wants and needs from others truly does help with managing your emotional connections. I’m detaching away from this assumption that others know what I may be struggling with and even being thoughtful enough to check-in on me.
Each day, I tell myself: I am coming to you with love, expectation and abundance. May my heart continuously unfold, may my virtue of patience be strengthened, and may my intentions remain pure. I am a woman of many talents, flaws, and desires. I come humbly to reclaim what is mine. I am no longer playing small or minimizing what greatness I have within the deeper depths of me.
To the woman struggling in her season: Your spark will return. The light you own that illuminates the world will still shine when you return.
Some days are gold, some days are blue, but you are still worthy, regardless of what hue of colors present themselves.
Trying to unlearn past behaviors and cope with change can be challenging, but you’re growing. Continue to be true to who you are. Show up and know that you are deserving of all things entering your life. You belong in that space. At times, impostor syndrome may present itself, but know that someone believes in you. You will accomplish goals you haven’t even known were possible yet.
You are capable of great things.
So I say this to whomever may be reading: Allow yourself to feel, process, and heal in your own timing. Our own personal stories make us who we are and contribute to our identities as we navigate through this beautiful life.
Execute. It’s time to start doing more, speaking less, and stop playing with your potential.
This too shall pass.