It saddens me to think of all that power I have given away to others in my life. To my ex-husband and the bosses who were unkind to me. To the people who rejected my creative submissions or didn’t hire me or follow through for me.

I made choices based on what I thought people thought of me. My opinion of me just hasn’t mattered as much as yours. I gave my power away and assumed you saw the real me.

I assumed that your mirror was trustworthy.

If your response wasn’t positive or supportive, that meant I had done it wrong. I assumed it was my fault and my not-enoughness that led you to berate me and abandon me. I thought I needed permission to be separate.

For the Love of Me on Shalavee.comI needed approval to be OK with my choices.

I now understand that this was how my littlest self interpreted my parental neglect.  

Even this year, my inner child has been waiting for the other shoe to drop and prove how much I didn’t deserve your respect or your love. Waiting for the effort I make to be repaid with silence or criticism or rejection.

This has been my default.

And this may happen again in 2022.

But this time, I’m watching like a hawk. My feelings of despair are a flare in the sky to tell me that I need to stop and listen to my thoughts. That I may be catastrophizing or mindreading. Feelings of loneliness and despair are requests for me to give myself compassion. And to find a new way to see myself other than broken and unfit.

If this sounds familiar, I am on your team.

We are compassion compatriots.

You can lean on me if I can lean on you.

I am further setting my intention to like what I have done without your opinion. To be a fan of my own work before you are. I want to know that I can do this without your approval or your permission. That I can create just for the love of me.


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