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I Will Not Shrink Down So That You Feel Big

Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

This is what I know to be true of myself.

Take a walk with me and see if you can relate.

I love fiercely, intimately, and completely. I am empathetic and compassionate. I am kind and considerate. I am silly, childlike, and ridiculous. I am strong and stable. I am reliable, protective, and loyal. I am humorous and witty. I am sexy, erotic, and sensual. I am physical and emotional. I am joyful and passionate. I am generous and altruistic. I am disciplined and direct. I am sassy and sweet. I am feminine and vulnerable. I am honest and powerful. I am complex and intelligent. I am assertive and a leader. I am headstrong and interesting. I am mysterious and intuitive.

I am also insecure and inept. I am shy and passive. I am irritable and bitchy. I am sad and morose. I am intense and angry. I am fragile and emotional. I am sensitive and sorry. I am profane and snarky. I am sharp-tongued and shrewish. I am loud and abrasive. I am a procrastinator and lazy. I am unpredictable and scary. I am unapologetic and outspoken. I am inconsistent and imperfect.

I am a paradox. I am, to quote Winston Churchill, “…a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”

The key to me is to see all that I am in truth, not as you wish me to be. In return, I promise you this:

I will not whitewash my feelings to mollify yours. I will not sacrifice my boundaries in favor of soothing your fears and anxieties. I will not allow you to diminish the intensity of my feelings or mislabel them in an effort to get them to fit into your stories like twisted legos.

I will love you with my boundaries. I will wrap them around myself as a declaration of healthy love. Knowing where I end and you begin is the start of a strong love that is free of unhealthy attachment.

My job as a partner is to love myself first and foremost. My job as a mother is to love myself first and foremost. My job as a friend, a neighbor, and a member of this human race is to love myself first and foremost.

If I do not take the job of loving myself seriously then how could I ever expect anyone else to? If I want my children to learn how to love themselves then how can they if I refuse to model it for them?

Loving myself creates more space for loving others.

Loving myself when I’m being a defensive partner, a bad mom, an irritable neighbor, or a judgmental friend is where I get stuck. It’s easy to love the bright, shiny side of myself. I want to immediately fix my dark and moody self, repair my mistakes and make my shadow side go away as if it doesn’t exist.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about excusing poor behavior. I’m simply saying that I need to stop judging myself so harshly for it. I need to separate my actions from my identity. I am not the sum of my bad behaviors. I am the sum of all my choices — good and bad — and the experiences derived from them.

In other words, I am not bad, rather I make bad choices sometimes. We all do… some more than others of course; but then life isn’t always equitable in its distribution of suffering. It’s how I learn.

Were I to wager a guess I would say that if I actually calculated all the good I’ve done in this world it would far outweigh the bad. I know that I create more loving moments, and engage in more acts of kindness, compassion, and empathy than I do shitty, unconscious acts of negativity.

That’s the joy — and sorrow — of free will… I get to choose who I want to be and how I show up in this world. I don’t ever escape cause and effect, I just may not always see the end result in the moment.

Let me have the consequences of my own actions. If I am free to choose my actions then I am also entitled to the results. If I indulge myself in the delicious, yummy returns of my good actions then doesn’t it make sense to also allow their opposite? After all, trying to fix something that isn’t broken, to begin with, may deprive me of an opportunity for personal growth.

If I’m not broken, then this is simply my journey. I’ve been able to tap into my higher being and learned forgiveness — for both myself and those who have wronged me — rather than react to the world and live in self-abnegation or defensiveness. It’s the difference between thriving and surviving. It is the crucial distinction between accepting myself completely as being enough and chasing status, material things, and external validation that tells me I am enough. The latter is based on receiving love and approval from outside of myself and the former comes from within.

So no, I will not shrink down and dim my light so that you may shine. I will not invalidate my magnificence in order to bolster yours. You have your own light to shine as you may… your own magnificence to discover if you dare.

As this year winds to a close with a whimper and a slow sigh I make no resolutions. Instead, I prepare to stride forward into the new year with a renewed sense of self, a strong belief that my life is filled with abundance, a profusion of self-love, and the surety that I am lovable exactly as I am.

What about you?

(If you need a bit of guidance finding your magnificence it’s not my first rodeo, I can help… simply check out www.TheAcceptanceProject.Co)

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Grace Getzen - Connection Creatrix

Writing is an intimate expression of who we are and what we care about.