As I’ve really started learning how to honor myself and my needs, there’s been something incredibly awful and painful about it.
Literally. It physically hurt in my body. My heart ached, my nervous system got blown out, and all I wanted to do was crawl out of my skin or take a nap. Basically anything other than being inside my own experience.
There was one afternoon where I actually tried walking away from myself several times… funny thing, though, I just kept following me around. 😉
I’ve been doing all these things that are good lately. SO incredibly good. I’m showing up, saying what’s true, setting boundaries, and no longer tolerating the old patterns and ways of being. I’m claiming my desires in a very big way. I’m letting go, clearing out, and making space. I’m owning my worth, my value, my influence, and my expertise.
And let me tell you, all this good stuff?
It hurt like hell at first.
I thought the part that would hurt would be the fallout. The repercussions of not giving others exactly what they wanted. Not showing up in the ways that were expected, that are no longer aligned with who I am and who I’m becoming. People punishing me, getting angry, or leaving.
But what actually hurt was when they stayed.
When they heard me, had new conversations with me, kept loving me anyways. When they stepped up and into new ways of relating to me, being with me, and growing with me. When they were supportive and began holding the vision of what I want to create with me—believing in me and reflecting my value back to me.
I know. I couldn’t understand why it hurt like it did either.
It’s all so incredibly beautiful, amazing, and loving.
Until I realized… it’s grief.
Truly claiming your worth, your value, and your right to be treated with consideration and respect—it involves acknowledging the levels at which you didn’t in the past. The ways you betrayed yourself, didn’t have your own back, and weren’t your own advocate.
For me, it was pure heartache for the girl who allowed and tolerated some pretty horrible behaviors. The girl who disappeared completely, time and time again, because she believed the lie that she was “too much.” That she was wrong and bad and broken. That she had to sacrifice herself for the sake of other people’s comfort.
Feeling the grief and experiencing the “ouch” is NOT about blame. It’s not about dwelling on the past or spinning out and beating ourselves up. It’s simply recognition. It’s about looking at it all and realizing, “oh… that wasn’t okay and I deserve better. That’s not something I should ever tolerate for any reason.”
Because the other side of truly claiming your worth, your value, and your right to be treated with consideration and respect—it involves learning how to operate from that space ALL THE TIME.
Demanding better. Creating different experiences. Engaging with the world around you from a more centered and empowered space.
It hurts to grieve what was. All the things that were hard and horrible, along with the relationships, experiences, and heartache that never should have been…
It also hurts to realize that you can no longer settle for less than you desire or deserve. Because that realization rips you right out of the familiar space you’ve grown so comfortable with. There’s nothing left to do but show up, go after what you want, and focus on the relationships and experiences that are aligned… which can honestly leave you feeling like a raw, exposed nerve.
And WOW. Because on the other side of feeling your way through the grief and into this new way of honoring yourself… there’s a lightness like you’ve never experienced. A level of peace and focus and feeling fully grounded in who you are and who you’re becoming.
There’s just you, what you want, and what you’re working towards.
This work is deep and hard and painful at times… but it’s worth the ouch. It’s worth what’s waiting for you on the other side. It’s worth creating the space for the right people, experiences, and opportunities to show up (and for people to surprise you by continuing to love and support you through this growth). It’s worth it to finally start stepping into who you’re here to be because you’re finally honoring your worth and your value.
You just have to keep feeling your way through it.
You have to keep facing forward and doing the work.
Even when it hurts, especially when it’s hard.