Have you ever made that decision to change your life? I’m not speaking of changing a job or moving. I mean EVERYTHING. Literally, everything. I’m talking delving deep into all your deepest, darkest secretive places that you hide from even yourself, rediscovering your joys, shunning people who have manipulated you so thoroughly that you became imprisoned in your own mind (even if they are “family” and you’re supposed to love them no matter what), and relearning how to truly love yourself and know your worth. I’m talking the 180° turn-around that seems to scare the shit out of those around you. Yah, that.
Those of us who have been under the imprisonment of enmeshment trauma or other psychological manipulative tactics can understand this. We’ve spent our entire lives under such enforcement of “never good enough” – unless you are like me, or the determination of our worth is congruent with what we provide to others, never what we may also provide for ourselves. Hell, society, in general, teaches us that our worth is only determined by what we do for others, and, if we need in return, we no longer have value. I won’t argue with the idea that our value, even from the subjective standpoint, will always be tied to what we do for others, but I think our perspective is a bit fucked up, particularly for those of us who were raised in middle to lower income households. These are the service classes in general. We are trained in every area of our life to be of service to others. But, we are rarely trained to be of service to ourselves, are we? Instead, we’re taught escaping – through vacation, drugs, reading, alcohol, thrills, shopping. We should be getting taught (or allowed to continue the childhood wonderment of) the exploration of joy and creativity. Authentic worth, I argue, can only be had through finding joy, creating through that joy, and offering that joy and that creation to the world. I mean, when you think about it, how much service have we provided to the world in the manner in which we have been operating? How many problems have actually been solved? Perhaps my perspective is off, but it seems to me that our problems have only grown, not receded. We have the tendency to offer service in a manner that degrades ourselves and, in turn degrades others.
I may have written about this before but I have this story about trying to take a mere walk down my road. For a number of years, I would get stopped repetitively by people wanting to “help” me. Perhaps it was unfathomable to them that a lone female would be walking by herself just because. But here’s the thing, I wore appropriate clothing including running or hiking shoes, was usually in motion, ignored them by not making eye contact, definitely wasn’t waving them down or foaming at the mouth. If they had actually cared about me, they would have chosen to take me into consideration by noticing those details. I had one lady stop on a blind curve with children in the back demanding I allow her to help me. I could see my house in front of me. I use this story because I think it exemplifies what’s going on in society. We have lost any sense of self worth and, sometimes, in order to feel worth, we create problems to solve or fail to take the other person into consideration in order to feel our own goodness.
I am one of those seemingly doing a 180° and yet, here’s the thing… This is actually who I have always really been. I have ALWAYS known exactly who I am but I became so convinced that my worth was determined by others. None of the rules that have been forced upon me have ever felt right but only enhanced the unworthiness. It was like a never-ending out of control spiral into the pits of hell that made it feel like a virtual prison. So, I’m doing things on my own terms now and excluding everyone from having an input on what I choose to do with my life – literally and figuratively. In each moment, where choice is necessary, I choose what makes me happy, not what would make someone else happy. And, yah, anytime in the past that I chose to put myself first (or tried to) I was called selfish. I’m okay with that title now for I know what it means. It means I am not serving that person in a manner that they believe benefits them. In truth, my “selfishness” benefits everyone. My joy is your joy, just as your joy is my joy. I cannot encourage all of you enough to say “fuck it” to all those rules society has handed down to us to keep us imprisoned. Take back the reigns of your truth and own you.