You are not responsible for what other people think about you.
You are not responsible for how other people feel about you.
Your value does not change based on someone’s perception of you.
I’ve lived most of my life as a reflection of everyone around me.
It’s like there were tiny jagged shards of mirrors plastered all over my body and in every conversation or interaction I made it a goal, without realizing it, to reflect back in multiple directions what I thought they wanted to see in me.
I know it’s not my fault. From a young age I linked my worth to what I could accomplish and achieve. How well-behaved I could be. But when anyone stood in front of my mirrors, I was distracted with anticipation and a sense of purpose.
Here I am, ready to show up and be everything you want me to be. Everything you expect me to be.
But honestly, this is an exhausting way to live.
Because when they left, that’s when it hurt the most. I was left with nothing to reflect back. I’m taking those broken shards and assembling a cracked mirror, and for the first time in my life I have the time and space to finally face that girl head on.
And I don’t necessarily like what I see.
I feel like she cares too much.
Gets hurt too easily.
Gets sad over little things.
Doesn’t know how to pick herself up quickly enough.
I live with a voice that tells me these things constantly and it’s absolutely exhausting. I read quotes that say mental illness isn’t a character flaw, it’s a flaw in brain chemistry, and that registers when I apply it to other people, but when it comes to me? I never believed it.
It’s uncomfortable and time-consuming and messy and painful to realize the habits and thought patterns that put me here. I look back at this reflection of a girl who is wondering why I abandoned her for so long and if I’ll ever have the strength to walk away from what hurts me, even if I’ve fallen in love with it.
But at the end of the day, regardless of whatever my crazy self-sabotaging habits are or whatever yours are, we all do crazy stupid things for one reason: to love and be loved. It really comes down to that.
And trust me, there are many healthier more rewarding options that lead to this result. We just have to be a little more brave and creative in trying them out now.
So now is the time to get rid of all the crap that prevents this magic from happening.
Admitting it is my first step. The process is daunting, it’s intimidating, to think of how far I want to go and how much effort it will take… But I’ve gotten this far, so I’m banking on that counting for something.