“Live as though life was created for you.”Maya Angelou
A friend of mine is going through a divorce and while the change is amicable, it’s still a very challenging time.
She’s doing things she’s never had to do on her own before, she’s learning on the fly, she’s having to speak up for herself and make important decisions, all while in the thick of uncertainty.
Naturally all of this is deeply uncomfortable for her, as it would be for anyone.
She has shared that she finds courage in thinking about doing this for her daughter.
She also feels empowered when she remembers the strong women who’ve come before her who didn’t have the same choices and privileges she has now.
She thinks about the generations of women coming after her. She’s being brave and making certain choices, laying a foundation for them too.
Yes! Connecting to others and to something bigger than ourselves is a very powerful way to move toward our goals.
Yet, I can’t help but notice there’s something…or someone…missing as she describes her motivations.
Where is she in her reasons for finding courage, speaking up and doing what makes her happy?
This is what I want to shout – with all the fiery love I have – to her and anyone else who needs to hear it:
It is perfectly okay for you to want to be happy, for the simple pleasure of being happy.
It is perfectly okay to want to do something, to stand up and speak up for something, to make a decision because it is what you want to do, because it feels right to you, because you love your reasons.
It’s perfectly okay for you to have needs and to have other people support you in getting them met.
It is perfectly okay to have desires, goals, and dreams for no other reason than the fact that they are important to you.
My dear friend is not alone in forgetting herself. This comes up for many of the women I coach. It shows up with some of my friends. I even see it in myself at times.
These are patterns that are deeply ingrained in many women. (And some men too.)
We are conditioned as caregivers and nurturers, the ones who think about others first. We see needs and take care of them. We give. Wholeheartedly. We get the message that to do otherwise would be selfish. We downplay our own needs because we don’t want to be burdens. We look for approval, permission and validation outside of ourselves. We hold others up on pedestals, looking at them for inspiration and motivation. We downplay our own magnificence, not wanting to be seen as too much.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve and care for and nurture. Most of us get deep satisfaction in giving of ourselves in this way.
It becomes a problem when you forget about including yourself.
It’s not sustainable and will often lead to physical depletion and illness, emotional overwhelm, resentment, strained relationships, feeling stuck, powerless and put upon.
Luckily it’s not true that it has to be one or the other. You don’t have to lose yourself when you give of yourself.
You can give and receive.
In fact, this win-win level of energy is a potent creative force.
I work with my clients to show them that they can have and do both.
They unravel those tired old patriarchal messages and live in alignment with their own beliefs. They hear their own wisdom.
They set healthy boundaries and take care of themselves.
They know that their needs, their happiness and their dreams matter.
They see themselves just as worthy of love and abundance as the people around them.
As they live in this way of being, they can’t help but radiate love outwards and that has such a powerful influence and impact.
This is what I want for you too.
You don’t have to stop caring for others or thinking of others or finding inspiration in others.
Just remember to include yourself.
With so much love,
P.S. Your dreams and your happiness matters. To all of us. Don’t hold back what you are feeling called to create and contribute to the world.
What would happen if you were fearless about living your purpose and being the change you want in this world?
Sign up here for a free, no-obligation coaching consultation and we’ll explore these questions.
You’ll get so much awareness about yourself, where you are in your life and where you want to be. This conversation alone will change you. Are you ready? Let’s go!