i'm not mad. i'm a writer.

There used to be a time where in order to have relationships with other people I had to abandon myself. In these relationships, I would basically be required to do things I didn’t want to do or suffer the consequences of their disapproval. These relationships had a tone to them. Can you relate? And hear me loud and clear – these people weren’t bad people. I just gave up myself to keep them around and they were never satisfied. They just kept wanting more.

Here is how things changed for me.

1. I started to check in with myself. Do I want to do this or am I just trying to win their approval? I started to be honest with myself and courageously say no thank you,…I would rather,…Maybe next time. Now don’t get me wrong, my lack of boundaries especially with people who I care about were put to the test. My codependent mind would be on edge. I would feel so much guilt. Are they mad at me? And then one day it dawned on me, this is what a trauma bond looks like. They keep me connected to them in unhealthy ways and I’m drained by it. I also realized that no one who actually really loved me and had empathy for me would require me to do things that I don’t want to do unless I was allowing it. Add to it that I wasn’t expressing myself and letting them know how I felt. Now don’t get me wrong. This is not a free pass to turn everything into something bigger than it is. Like the word no doesn’t need an explanation for people who have boundaries and aren’t enmeshed. But I was healing from all of that. So the shift happened for me when I said – me having me doesn’t me I don’t love you. But in the same way that I’m not offended when you do what you want to do and it doesn’t include me or fit in to your a schedule – I’m gonna need the same grace applied to me.

2. I stopped living with an expected outcome. In other words I stopped trying to control the narrative and then making the worse assumptions if things didn’t play out the way I saw them in my head. If someone cancelled on me it didn’t mean they were no longer my friend. I stopped catastrophizing things. I learned to say it is what it is. I’m not overreacting and making this into something it isn’t. Even when there was a minor convenience I stopped being dramatic. If the flight got delayed, I sat back and figured out how to spend the time I was waiting to take off. That’s a word right there. I literally realized I was making myself miserable thinking of things that weren’t real. If you do this kind of thing- overreaching – I suggest you stop.

At the end of the day – learn to be the change you want to see. If everyone is failing you so miserably and they are always getting it wrong – maybe it’s time you take a chill pill and give people grace. It’s possible for me to have myself and have you. It just takes some give and take and some understanding that everyone is different and that doesn’t make them bad. Let go and let God and watch your relationships with other people soar ✈️

3. I stepped back and accepted – EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT ME. Isn’t that a relief? When you realize people have their own stuff going on and everything they say and do isn’t about you, then you learn to chill out. When you accept that people are often battling things you have no idea is going on. That you’re not the only one trying to figure things out. That their are people who even though they have a smile on their face, money in their account, a loving spouse they are still dealing with monumental pressure. And here me when I say this – If you love them – don’t add to their pressure with crazy making thinking. Don’t burden people with guilt and pressure on top of what life is already throwing at them. Take it easy.

Sherry Grant Copyright @ 2023

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