Imagine yourself sitting in a small one-bedroom apartment, laying on your bed feeling like you are in this prison. A prison with no bars but you still can't escape.
You try to hide away but all of those demons stay close because they know you are stuck. They know they have you where they want you.
My prison moved to different places that I had occupied. I don't even say lived because I wasn't truly living.
My dorm room.
My childhood bedroom in my parent's house.
My one-bedroom apartment.
They all became places for me to hide. Places where I didn't need to live anymore. Places where I could just lay inside the prison that I created and hope that someday the dark thoughts would disappear.
I wanted to shout at the world. I wanted to tell everyone what had happened BUT I didn't want to have to say the words. I couldn't bring myself to truly say, "I was raped", out loud.
I didn't want anyone to feel the anger that I felt.
I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me.
I didn't want anyone to look at me in a different way. Like I was damaged and broken.
I wanted to hide and pretend that my life didn't matter. Walk around like a ghost in the outside world.
BUT being a ghost didn't take the pain away. It helped to maintain the pain and made me question my existence even more.
UNLOCKING THE THOUGHTS THAT ARE HOLDING YOU CAPTIVE
You don't need to have experienced a traumatic event like I did to be held captive by your thoughts.
Other thoughts that were holding me captive throughout the years…
"You need to lose weight."
"You take criticism so well. That is why I am so hard on you."
"Wow. I can't believe how much weight you gained after having a baby."
"Maybe if you wore makeup, your husband would love you more."
"It is your fault that we don't have money."
"Maybe she just needs an allowance."
See the thing is…
For years my self-love was in such short demand that I believed everything bad that was ever said about me.
I was a high achiever and after my sexual assault, I just didn't care anymore. I didn't want to think about my future. I didn’t want to go to school.
People knew how to say things and knew how to knock me down every single day. I gave them permission to do so. I NEVER stopped them. I NEVER stood up for myself. I NEVER disagreed with them.
So I became ALL THE THINGS that they said.
I became the "fat" woman.
I became the woman who only listened to criticism.
I became the mom who hid her body because of her weight.
I became the woman who felt ugly in her own skin.
I became the woman who couldn't support her family.
I became the woman who didn't know how to handle the money.
It was easier to BECOME all of those things more than it was to discover that I WASN'T ANY of those things.
When I began to realize that ALL of those things I thought I was were a lie, I decided that I was worth knowing, worth discovering and worth more than being a ghost.
5 KEYS TO HELP YOU FREE YOURSELF
My friend, Jody, gave me the idea of using keys in this blog post and I absolutely LOVE it. We all have ways that we can unlock our true selves and we just need to find the right keys.
We need to throw away the set that is telling us and reminding us of all the things that we aren't. The set that is keeping us locked up in a prison that we can't break free from. The set that is taking a piece of who we are every day without standing up to it. Just accepting the struggle as everyday life.
I want you to yell right now…
I WILL NO LONGER BE HELD CAPTIVE BY THIS SET OF KEYS THAT IS FEEDING ME LIES!"
How did that feel? I did it too and now have 3 kids looking at me like I am crazy BUT DAMN did that feel powerful or what?!
I took a quiz the other day to tell me what my coaching approach is and it was so incredibly accurate. I coach with an aspirational perspective and so I listened to her podcast today. I like that she also used the word embodiment with this coaching style because it is exactly what I do.
I show you the real pieces of me. The ugly. The beautiful. The inspirational. The broken. I do what I do because I know that someone out there needs to read the words I write.
I want you to take these keys and use them every day. Allow them to help you find peace inside yourself. Allow them to help you rebuild yourself back up. Allow them to dismantle the thoughts that have kept you feeling less than worthy.
Key one: Make the decision to move forward.
It can be incredibly scary to take that first step. I know because I have done it. I took that first step without any backup.
Every morning you get to decide which set of keys you are going to use. Are you going to use this new set that will allow you to love who you are or are you going to choose the set that keeps you locked inside yourself?.
Decide because that is the only way you are going to begin to move forward. It isn't about speed. This isn't a race. This is about becoming your true self.
Key two: Share your experiences.
This is the whole reason I started blogging. I was rotting from the inside out. Appearing as happy as I could on the outside while the inside was fighting to stay alive. I kept that going for 11 years. 11 years of fighting with myself just so people wouldn't know the truth.
When they say, the truth will set you free. It is so incredibly true. The risk to myself was no greater if I shared my experience than it was if I held it in. Actually, it was probably safer to share it.
I was a shell of a person looking for a way to regain control of my life. I may have looked like I had my life together from the outside but every day was a constant struggle.
By sharing my story, I gave myself a way out. A way out of the pain. A way out of the shame. A way out of the hiding.
I no longer had to pretend I was okay and that in itself was incredibly freeing. I felt more alive than I had in years. I no longer cared what people thought. I no longer cared if people judged me. I had judged myself so harshly and allowed their beliefs to become mine that the damage was done. Not it was time to repair it.
Key three: Embrace the darkness.
Healing isn’t going to be all pretty and magical. It is incredibly hard, painful and there are going to be days that you don’t want to go on.
In order to truly move past the darkness and the things holding you back, you need to face them head-on. You need to start noticing the triggers. You need to look at them and examine them. You need to stare into your darkness and give it some light.
You will get better at feeling the triggers coming. You will put a plan in place that allows you to work through the triggers faster so that they don’t knock you down for as long as they used to. I remember when someone used to say something negative to me or about me, I would replay it over and over again in my head. It would consume me and it would be ALL THAT I COULD THINK ABOUT. I would retreat within myself. I would shut people out. I would cry myself to sleep.
Now when someone says something, it may knock me down for a bit but it doesn’t have the hold over me like it used to. I can now look at what they are saying and examine if it is true. Most of the time, things people say are things they say because they themselves are hurt and struggling and stuck.
Key four: Reach out for support.
There are women that I have in my life now that I wish I would have known at the beginning of my journey. They have my back. They remind me of the woman that I truly am even when I am not feeling like her.
You DO NOT have to do this alone. I know how incredibly hard it is to be by yourself, fighting a battle that seems insurmountable. It can make the path darker and harder. It will make you want to give up sooner.
Even if it is just one person. Reach out. If you NEED ME TO BE THAT PERSON, I AM HERE!!! Please NEVER do this journey alone.
I found that most of the support that I needed (even though I didn’t realize I needed it) came from the readers of my blog. They supported me without even knowing me. They didn’t question me. They helped me to heal just by reminding me every step of the way that I was NEVER alone. The power of community using blogging.
Key five: Live in your truth.
This is probably the most important key that I am going to share with you and possibly the hardest one to do.
For years I was hiding who I truly was. There were even years that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I tried to be what other people wanted me to be. I tried to make those around me happier than I was. I tried really hard for a very long time to keep up the charade but I just couldn’t do it.
It was making ME miserable. It was making ME unlovable. It was devaluing who I WAS at that moment.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have NO IDEA the true power you hold when you stand fully in yourself. When you become completely and totally YOU!!
You wake up feeling safe and secure.
You become confident in every piece of yourself.
You learn that your weaknesses really aren’t weaknesses.
You learn that you are good at things for a reason.
Living in your truth gives you freedom that pretending never can be. It is the secret magic to life. It is what those women who walk into a room and just glow have. It is what is so desperately trying to come out in you but you are stuck right now in a place that isn’t allowing that version of yourself to come out.
Imagine the fun you would have.
Imagine the connections you would make.
Imagine the life you would be living.
All if you just said YES to living in YOUR TRUTH.
All 5 of these keys are inside of you, right now. They are just waiting for you to decide that you are worthy. You have this set of keys within you screaming to be used. They desperately want you to know that you are unstoppable and fearless. That those things that you are currently repeating in your head ARE NOT the truth.
They see it.
I see it.
Other people see it.
Now it is time for you to see it. Grab your space in the Fierce Growth Academy and let me help you for 6 months.
6 months of showing you that you can heal in ways that you never imagined.
6 months of helping you create your own community through blogging.
6 months of complete transformation in EVERY aspect of your life.
6 months of being your biggest support when it comes to healing and blogging.
6 months to a CONFIDENT, SEXY and EMPOWERED version of YOU!