For most of my life, I have gotten all of my internal value from other people.
I was SUPER shy when I was a kid. Like painfully shy. I had no self-confidence.
I remember in elementary school thinking I was fat and not smart and not pretty. I had no positive inner voice. I had no core belief system. No personal mission statement.
I don’t really know any nine-year-olds who have a solidified inner personal mission statement that they live by, but at thirty-nine years old, I still didn’t have one.
I didn’t really even have one at forty-nine.
It hasn’t really been until the last two years that I’ve really figured things out. That I’ve discovered what is really important to me and what I really want to do with my life.
It’s taken me half a century to feel strong enough internally to totally trust my gut and not give a flying fuck what other people think.
I spent all of my twenties (and half of my thirties) putting myself in relationships with men where I would change myself based on what they liked rather sticking to what I believed at my core.
The problem was I didn’t know what I wanted at my core.
Or I knew what I wanted, but I was too much of a wimp to stay true to it because all my value was wrapped up in what other people thought of me.
So I went from relationship to relationship to relationship molding myself into the person I thought my boyfriend wanted.
I was in several abusive relationships. Some were physically abusive. Some were emotionally abusive. Some were both.
And when relationships went south (which happened early on in all of them), I didn’t ever thing to myself,
This person is not the right person for me.
This person is not good enough for me.
This person doesn’t treat me the way I deserve to be treated.
Instead I thought,
I need to change myself.
I’m not good enough for that person.
I must have done (fill in the blank) wrong.
If I can just do this, then everything will be okay.
Oh how I wish I could go back and pull a fucking Cher in Moonstruck, slap my younger self across the face and scream,
SNAP OUT OF IT!!!
But that wouldn’t have mattered because I wasn’t ready to hear it. And I wasn’t ready to do the work I’d need to do to change it.
When I first started writing this blog and I got my first comment from troll, I was shattered.
I didn’t even know what a troll was at the time, but I had to find a way to make this person like me.
I had to make them understand that I’m a really good person!
I’d lose sleep over stuff like that.
All the time.
I’ve been in therapy for a while now, but it’s really been in the last three years that I’ve done a shit ton of work on myself.
I’ve sat in massive amounts of discomfort.
I’ve learned to look at myself and own the shit I’m doing that’s creating problems in my life, and I’m learning to let go of the shit I can’t control.
Where I used to immediately react and become defensive, I have now come to a place where I can listen to what people have to say to me without immediately firing back.
Not all the time, but most of the time, anyway.
A couple days ago, I went live on the NYAM FB page.
It was two nights before Christmas, I hadn’t done all the shopping I wanted to do (in my ideal-Christmas-mind). I was totally stressed out and exhausted and also really having a hard time not catastrophizing about how our actual Christmas Day was going to play out.
All the kids were going to be home and my husband and I would be there together, and while the kids aren’t really thinking this way, I knew it was the last Christmas we would ever have like this in our house.
So I didn’t want it to totally suck.
But I also couldn’t be like, “Hey kids! You better enjoy every second of this because it’s your last Christmas with the whole family together in this house like this because next year your father and I will be living in separate homes and you’ll never get another one like it.”
On another note, I have goals in my business. And I’ve been holding off on some of them because I wanted to wait until the ideal time.
Also, as far as my business goes, I should be going live on the NYAM Facebook page regularly.
And I haven’t been. Because I haven’t figured out how to do it perfectly and I always feel like I have to be “on” and I’ve really just been afraid of failure.
I also want to start a podcast, and I just keep putting it off until I know what I’m doing perfectly.
So on Monday, December 21st, four days before Christmas during the most stressful time of my life, I decided I was going to commit to going live every day, Monday through Friday.
It probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.
Or maybe it was.
Because while adding another thing to my plate wasn’t something I’d recommend to anyone who was already stressed out to begin with, it forced me to take action, and it forced me to take action imperfectly.
Since I had no plan, I was just kind of talking off the top of my head.
And that’s how I am. I’m less of a planner and more of a spontaneous kind of gal.
So the first two Facebook lives were, you know, okay.
But I did them.
Then Wednesday came.
I had no real plan and I was fucking physically and emotionally drained and I sat down on the floor of my childhood bedroom and I just started talking.
I was live for a little over a half hour.
I was talking to my Facebook audience. The one that’s already established. The one who has been there for years. The one who gets me.
I kept losing my train of thought (is divorce brain a thing? I think it is) and I was kind of rambling and all over the place, but my people get me, and so I didn’t think much of it.
Then I don’t know what happened, but the video exploded.
There were plenty of people who appreciated me, but HOLY SHIT were there people who think I am basically the biggest and most annoying asshole on the planet.
Eight years ago this would have sent me into the nuthouse. For real.
Even one year ago this probably would have taken me out of commission for a long time.
In the last 48 hours I’ve received comments like:
She’s obviously an alcoholic.
This woman needs help.
This woman needs her children taken away from her.
It’s no wonder this woman’s husband left her.
Those are just a few.
That’s like a beer flight of the comments I received.
Just a taste the insults.
I didn’t even mention the people who can’t handle the f-bombs.
But here is the thing.
I’m not bothered by those comments now.
I’m not bothered by them at all.
Because I know they ultimately aren’t about me.
It feels really fucking good to get to this place.
To a place where I feel so centered and sure of who I am (while also not needing affection/compliments/approval of other people to feel good about myself) that I can let this stuff go right by without reacting.
I have more to say about this, but to be totally honest, my mom made dinner and it’s downstairs and I’m hungry and I want to go eat.
So I’ll be back with more tomorrow.
Until then, if you can relate to any of that negative bullshit self-talk I used to have in my head, click on the link below and register for my free course.
Cause I’m gonna help you change that shit.