In the midst of Gemini season, I am spending time reflecting on how within us are many competing aspects. In a previous post, I outlined how I’ve always identified as the “Good Girl” despite the fact that within me also lies the “Rebel”. This theme has continued as I reflect on my life, who I am authentically and how to reintegrate all the pieces I self-abandoned long ago that I am now reclaiming. This allows me to be intellectual, yet also deeply empathic. Logical yet whimsical. Serious yet silly. Adventurous yet cautious. A planner yet spontaneous. Routinized yet able to go with the flow. Organized yet messy (at times!). Shy yet outgoing.
We live in a society where we feel compelled to choose one “acceptable” aspect over another at the risk of being rejected for those “less than desirable” qualities at the opposite end of the spectrum. We tend to harshly criticize ourselves for being the opposite of that which we believe society expects of us. This is especially true for women, as wives and mothers. There are societal ideals that we tend to subscribe to as acceptable when we step into the title/role of “wife” and “mother”. It causes us to “self-abandon” in some ways.
As moms, we are often expected to sacrifice for our families – sacrifice our health, our social plans, our energy, our desires, passions and hobbies for the sake of meeting everyone else’s needs. As moms, we tend to align our needs with everyone else’s instead of differentiating them as we once did, before we bore children.
Over time, as we de-emphasize our needs, we show others that it’s okay for them to de-prioritize them as well. We forsake our needs, wants, and desires to meet the needs, wants, and desires of others. Seems respectable, acceptable, commonplace, and even noble right?
After years of giving, giving, and over-giving some more, we lose ourselves in the busyness of life. It’s easy to forget that we have needs that exist outside of the tribe.
The longer we continue to deny our needs (or avoid getting them met), the more damage we do to our sense of self-worth, lovability and self-trust. We provide evidence to our minds that we are not important, that we are not worthy of having our needs met, that we are not lovable unless we are making others around us happy. Until, one day, we find ourselves deeply unhappy and filled with resentment, feeling “stuck” in the quicksand of life that threatens to swallow us whole.
As mothers, we believe we are living our life in “service” to our children, however, serving anyone should never come at the sacrifice of yourself. That is martyrdom, not service and it’s not serving your children (or you!) in any way.
Our children are not asking us to sacrifice or martyr ourselves to make them happy and fulfilled. Our children need us to LOVE ourselves as much as we LOVE them! Our children need to see us JOYFUL if we want them to know what true happiness looks like. We need to role model what it looks like to love yourself so deeply so you can love someone else completely. Our children need to see that it’s important to take care of themselves first so they can take care of others. Our children need to understand what it looks like to love and accept yourself fully, to ask in a healthy way how to get their needs met and how to SET healthy BOUNDARIES. They also need to learn the lessons of resiliency and how to get through struggles without relying on someone else to “fix it” for them. If we are not role modeling this for them, we are raising them to seek happiness outside of themselves which they’ll never quite find because true happiness comes from WITHIN. We will raise them to be codependent instead of interdependent, always seeking another’s love, validation and approval.
When we give it ALL to our children and neglect ourselves, we show them that it’s okay to disrespect your body, your health, your needs and your emotions for the sake of others. We model victimhood and martyrdom instead of self-love, self-care, self-trust, and emotional safety. We show them that it’s okay to be a doormat, that it’s okay to put yourself last and that it’s acceptable for everyone else puts you last as a result.
As parents, we want our children to feel empowered to be themselves. So, how do we reconnect with who we are after years of self-abandoning and losing ourselves? The first step is becoming aware of how putting yourself last hurts them more than helps them, and choosing something different. The second step, is learning how to heal the parts of you that have allowed self-abandoning to happen to begin with. Third, is learning how to fully love and accept ALL parts of yourself (including the competing aspects!). Fourth, is knowing you are worthy of having your needs met, how to set healthy boundaries and how to get your needs met in a healthy way.
When we choose self-acceptance, we are able to move more fully into self-actualization. Being who you are fully and unapologetically, unconsciously gives your children permission to fully be who THEY are without judgment or fear. When they love all of who they are, they are able to confidently and courageously step out into the world without feeling the need to meet anyone else’s expectations or seek anyone else’s approval or recognition or deny competing aspects of who they are. They will set out into the world feeling WHOLE and COMPLETE and fulfill their life purpose of BEING who they are. Show them what ACCEPTANCE looks like by sharing ALL of the aspects that make you who you are, set healthy boundaries, take care of yourself and love yourself so deeply that you’re able to fill everyone else’s cup from your overflow! What better gift can you give them as a parent?! The gift of AUTHENTICITY, LOVE and EMPOWERMENT.
I'm so happy you're here! This Blog was created as a way to share content with anyone who is interested in personal healing and self-discovery in order to create a life that allows them to stand in their Truth, live out their Purpose and reconnect to their Joy. Happy reading!