I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I made myself small in the past.
How I focused on being ‘likeable’ to all and felt uncomfortable with the few relationships which were less than glowing.
How I moderated a lot of what I said with disqualifiers – words like ‘just’ or ‘possibly’ or ‘I don’t know but…’
How I bent over backwards to accommodate others to the detriment of myself.
And although these are still behaviours that are my go-to positions when I feel tired or not at my best, I can see that I’ve started to take up more space in my life.
And I love it!
I love how I ask for what I need – whether it be time alone away from the demands of motherhood or asking for a glass of water from staff in a cafe.
I allow myself to take up space.
I love how I’ve embraced who I am and all the brilliant things I have to offer to this world – as someone who has a brilliant career ahead of them and the ability to do incredible things in this world.
I believe that I’m deserving of the space and recognition of all that I am.
I love how, more and more, I also delight in the sides of me that I used to hide away. How I’m stubborn, make vast assumptions about things, can be selfish and can hold on too tight to my views. Because they are the flip-side of my greatest assets – my stubborness is also my tenacity, my assumptions allow me to take in huge amounts of data and make quick sense of them, my selfishness allows me to self-protect and by holding tight to what is dear to me, I am dedicated to things like veganism, living as ecologically as possible and living out my belief that nuclear family should come first.
I believe that my shadow self should be allowed space.
It’s great how I give myself time to listen to my instincts more and more in life. When asked if someone can crash at our place for a night, I don’t feel obliged to say ‘yes’ straight away. I think about whether it will be something that will stretch me beyond my means and, if that’s the case, I say ‘no’.
I listen to what I need and, while I want to help people out, I want my own happiness more.
I’m moving away from the long-held belief that others should come first and that I intrinsically owe something to them. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in kindness, empathy, being generous with what I have. The difference is that I don’t believe I should give away more than I can – my time, my integrity, my self – for others.
And with this comes such a capacity for generosity, love, abundance as I allow myself the space I need and, where I want to, I give out of choice instead of obligation.
When I think about where I am now and where I was when I first started writing this blog of mine (268 posts to date!), I couldn’t have ever imagined that I’d be here, happier in my own skin, kinder with my stumbles, confident in who I am, accepting of my whole self.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster – full of times where I’ve wept with sorrow and brimmed over with joy – but I am so grateful for where I am and for all the space that I’m allowing myself to take up in my life.