If I could return to my teenage self and tell her one thing, I would say…I give you permission to leave.
I give you permission to leave the room, to leave the relationship, to leave the thoughts, to leave the expectations.
I lived in an abusive household growing up. The idea that “it could be worse” or “you just need to tough it out” disabled me from doing what I needed to do to get where I needed to be. The courage to leave was always drowned out by the “I can handle it” mentality. It is important that we acknowledge when a situation is not allowing us to live as our most authentic selves or is not aligned with our true selves and core values.
Reduce or release stress…
Media culture shouts at us to “reduce stress”, when all I heard was “pretend like the stress doesn’t exist”. Reducing stress was more of a dismissal than dealing with what was present. Ignoring the stress or pretending like it was not affecting me allowed me to stay in the situation that was causing a lot of pain.
What I wanted was to release the stress. I wanted to express my stress to people and talk about what was happening in my life. I did not want to ignore it and pretend that it didn’t exist. Because the further I suppressed the stress, the more overwhelming it became when I was forced to be present with it. Stress is an indicator of the areas where we need to acknowledge what is not in alignment and release.
Trust myself and trust others…
Now, I have learned that in healthy relationships you can trust- this includes the relationship that I have with myself. Recently, I have done a lot of self-healing work such as confronting the unexpressed emotions from my childhood. The process has been hard and disheartening at times, with the occasional breakthrough. The unleashing and expression of these newfound emotions such as anger, frustration, love, vitality, and sadness has required passionate and ferocious trust in myself.
Trusting myself is a unique listening. It involves a lot of intentional listening, mistaking intuition for fear, and subsequently more intentional listening. This cycle of listening and acting on the response builds trust in my body, mind, and spirit.
After discovering what it feels, looks, sounds, tastes, and smells like to trust myself, I can reflect that to other close relationships. I find myself allowing others the freedom to choose and make mistakes and take responsibility for their own healing. It has been a joy to watch and cheer on the people in my inner circle really commit to their own inner work and have their breakthroughs. It is inspiring to me, because it has nothing to do with me. I can leave them in their greatness!
Visible and vital…
Visibility does not mean safety.Alok Vaid-Menon
Living in true authenticity requires courage and a constant commitment to discovering what that looks like. It requires assessing and reassessing my WHY and the life I want to create. It asks me to get real about the hard questions and to get clear about what I want.
Most importantly, living authentically has required me to give myself the permission to leave the room when it no longer serves me. I don’t have to wait until someone gives me a reason, makes fun of me, kicks me out, or asks me to leave. At any point in time, I can get up and walk out if I have determined that being in that room no longer aligns with who I am and is not allowing me to live in my fullest expression.
So if you needed to hear this today, I give you permission to leave.
Isolation during a global pandemic may have catalyzed the awareness around some of the unhealthy dynamics. Some may be experiencing domestic violence or abuse, which makes leaving more complicated. If you are experiencing any sort of domestic violence or are feeling unsafe in your home, please call the police. You can report on previous instances of violence or abuse, and they can supply you with resources to transition into a safety.