Lie #5: Loving Him Is Enough For Me

Have you ever had a relationship with someone who you were enthralled with? Someone who you thought was the perfect ending, only to end up being your personal demise? Rachel Hollis has this exact experience laid out in Girl, wash your face.

As much as I am embarrassed to admit it….I was there.

In The Beginning

We all know how it goes. You meet someone new. You’re instantly smitten with everything about them. The two of you spend endless hours talking of your hopes and dreams. You have exciting adventures together!

I had one of these. The closer we become, the more the outside world began to fade away. All that mattered to either of us was spending time together. All we could think of and focus on was building our happy ending. It was fast and magical….so I thought.

Reality Moves In

After the “honeymoon phase” begins to wear off, you settle into a routine. A routine that you think is NORMAL. One where you jump when they say “jump”! One where your every decision revolves around THEIR happiness.

I did it. I took on new interests and hobbies. HIS hobbies. To this day I’m still not sure if I enjoyed them or not. But I did them….because he expected me to. I thought it was normal. Normal….Hahahah. Now that’s a strange word. What IS normal? Now I know what it is NOT! Normal is not pushing your friends away because you’re expected to spend all of your time with him. Normal is not having to check in with him constantly to report your whereabouts and doings. It’s just not.

The Awakening

Wow…I had no idea I was allowing this to happen to me until it was over. Most of us don’t. We think it’s NORMAL. It’s just not.

Once I was outside looking in, I was able to see all that I had lost simply because I wanted to please him. My friends, closeness with my family, time with my children….all took a backseat. Your partner should be someone who wants you to be happy and support you. They should be comfortable with each of you having some of your own interests. I know that now.

How I Healed

I learned to love myself. It wasn’t easy. I had looked to him to make me happy for so many years. How was I supposed to make MYSELF happy???

I learned meditation and journaling. Praying and reflecting. I strive to do it daily. I don’t always accomplish that, but give it my best! It allows me to reconnect with my thoughts, my dreams, my inner peace.

I read and listened to numerous books and videos. Learning to love yourself may be the toughest thing you do. It can be painful. But I’m the end it is filled with amazing experiences!

I realized that no person or thing can make me happy. Only I can make me happy. Wow!!! To realize I have had that power all along? Amazing.

You have the power too! Go!!! Make yourself happy.

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Lie #4: I’m Better Than You

We all do it….we see someone across the room and a thought instantly pops into our head.  We didn’t mean for it to, but it does.  And it’s gross and grim and makes us feel horrible after. It shows its ugly face more often than we are willing to admit…..It’s called Judgment.

The Past

In high school I was a cheerleader.  Go ahead and judge me based solely on that.  You want to!!  It was the early 90’s.  Cheerleaders were cool.  They got the cute boys and had the cool friends.  And the BIG HAIR!!!!  Well, I was not that cheerleader.  I marched to the beat of my own drummer.  While the rest of the girls were trying to get their hair as big as they possibly could, with the help of some good old Aqua Net, I had mine cut into a “pixie cut”.  I was the one on the outside of the “cool crowd”.  Yes some of them were my friends, but not close friends. My friends ranged from kids in the band to track stars, girls in my dance studio to kids from Math Club, and everything in between.

If you saw me then you would have judged me.  I judged MYSELF!!!!  I wasn’t that cookie cutter that I should have been.  I didn’t get asked to go out with everyone on Friday night.  I used to panic and worry about whether or not I would even have plans.  I was a chronic dater because I wanted to fit in. I’m not sure what i was even looking for. Looking back, it’s all so silly.  But it IS the past.

Guilty As Charged

Fast foreword 20 years or so. I started finger pointing…You know you have done it.  We all have.  We tend to look at things through tainted eyes.  Eyes that only want to see things the way WE want them to be. The way someone reprimands their child, the outfit someone chooses to wear, even the food they choose to eat….we point our finger at them accusingly because they’re doing something differently than we would.

Take dating for example.  As I embarked on the adventure of adult dating following my divorce, I was VERY judgmental.  I judged how men thought about relationships, how they reacted (or didn’t) to me, and even how they chose to raise their children.  I had high expectations and I was determined to find someone to meet them. If they didn’t fit into the perfectly packaged ideal I had in my head, they were cast aside.  I was horribly judgmental.

After I finally faced that awareness head on and worked through it with the help of books and journaling, I finally loved myself.  I have REAL friends now…friends who guide me and support me on my journey. I began to allow myself to see things through new eyes….eyes that didn’t criticize or condemn.  I allowed new experiences without judgment!  Yes you read that correctly! It was so freeing.  Do I ever revert back?  Of course!!!  But now I know the signs, take time out, and start again. I journal and meditate daily. I focus on loving ME and know that in return I will receive love! ❤️

Try These Things

Love yourself.  Truly and deeply.  We look at others the way we love ourselves.  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others?  Self growth was key to my happiness.

Surround yourself with goodness.  Good friends, good vibes.  We tend to do what our “posse” does.  If you are surrounded by judgmental friends, GET NEW FRIENDS!

Take a good look in the mirror.  Judgment is really us not liking something we see in someone…something that reminds us of ourselves.  We judge because we don’t like what’s inside of us.

Lie #3: I’m Not Good Enough

Success.  That word has so many different meanings.  What does success mean to you?  For Rachel Hollis, it’s working as long and as hard as she has to in order to meet deadlines, keep her staff happy and her career flourishing. I don’t think I have m own standards for success in my life.  Yes, seriously.

The Overachiever

We all have something we are pushing for… something that we are striving for on a daily basis.  In Girl, wash your face Rachel’s thing is a successful business.  She works morning, noon and night in order to feel successful.

Whether it’s a new business, a new career, or even writing a new blog (my newest slow starting venture) things aren’t usually a rush out of the gate. In most new ventures we tend to have a slow start. Once the momentum begins to build and the rewards start to show, we begin to thrive off of the success.  The applause and attention starts to pour out.  The momentum increases in pace and we soar!!! What’s next? We feel the need to prove our worth.  We put in endless hours, straining and stressing ourselves.

I have been there.  Years ago I had a corporate career that pushed me to my limits.  I worked and I worked and I worked….50-60 hours a week.  My success was a reflection of my dedication.  My endless hours of blood, sweat and tears….many, many tears.  Hours on the road, time away from home and the high levels of stress wore at me.  But that career WAS my identity.  It was my purpose.  And in the end it was my demise.

The Set Back

In June of 2009, just as my career was at its highest peak, the set back came.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  The entire left side of my body was useless.  I couldn’t even hold something with my left hand.  I had to learn how to properly walk, brush my hair and even how to smile.  OT and PT became my new norm.  It felt like my life was over.  My successful career came to a crashing halt.  THAT was my biggest worry.

SERIOUSLY….my biggest worry was that I lost my career.  I was no longer important.  How would I prove my worth?  I should have been worried about how to take care of my children.  I should have been concerned about so many things….yet I wasn’t.  I had the same kind of experience as Rachel’s homeopathic doctor described….”a physical response to and emotional problem”.  You see, I was also in the heat of a divorce and custody battle.  Stress triggered the MS that was lying dormant in my body.

The Silver Lining

I was so focused on achieving greatness in my career, and keeping control of my personal life, that I lost sight of what truly mattered.  The MS was a slap of reality across the face.  It was also a blessing in disguise.  It forced me to slow down….to be present with my daughters.  At the time they were 9 and 3.  I was missing out on so much in their lives!  And during this time of divorce, they needed me around more than ever.

I was also forced to focus on taking care of myself.  I had given up drinking soda in February of that year.  But was now starting to evaluate things like my diet and some exercise to regain some of physical strength I had lost.  My days were spent doing things with my girls, reading, enjoying my parents, PT/OT, home nurses prodding me….and lots of resting to heal my body. It took a long time, but I leaned that I was worthy just they way I was.

What Helped Me

Therapy-both physical and emotional.  My physical and occupational therapists were amazing.  But they were more than that.  They listened to me.  They helped to talk me through the battles I was fighting inside of me. When in doubt, talk.  Talk to someone who will listen.

I started focusing my energy on the good things, the “fun moments”.  I made sure I rested in order to have the energy to enjoy things.  A beach vacation with my kids, a trip to the city to visit my sister, or even time to read a small section of a book. I realized that these are the things that truly matter….these are the forms of success I should be measuring my life by.

I re-prioritized my “to-do” list.  ME time slowly moved to the top.  I hired a personal trainer for ME.  He changed my life.  We didn’t have killer sessions like you would think.  Instead he helped me rebuild some of the strength I had lost.  He gave me new-found confidence.  We spent 2 mornings a week for 2 years, working on ME.  I owe a lot to that man.

What does success look like to you?  Are you prioritizing the right things in your life?  Are YOU at the top of your list?