For all the women who constantly say yes when they really want to say no: I see you, I hear you, I feel you!
I have always loved to please everybody.
Since I was a tiny little girl, I have always known that the more I do for people, and the more I do what other people want of me; then the more loved, accepted, and appreciated I would be. The more ‘safe’ I would be. The more ‘under the radar’ I would fly.
As a ‘good girl’ introvert with a sensitive constitution, learning to say no has been hugely challenging for me – because, in order to thrive, I have to say no to a LOT. Like, really … a lot.
In order to give myself the space that I need to be able to thrive and tend to all the parts of my life, I have to constantly ‘let people down’. It’s difficult, but I have learnt the hard way, that the repercussions of NOT honouring myself, are much worse.
It is ingrained in women to bend and break themselves to meet everybody else’s needs and desires – sacrificing their own very valid needs and dreams in the process.
It’s an unconscious expectation, that has been carried through lineages of women. And the only way to break it, is to unlearn it. To choose differently. Even when it’s really hard.
Because the truth is … modern women are not doing very well.
I’ve never considered myself a hardcore feminist, but this truth, truly infuriates me.
It infuriates me, mostly, because I spent a large chunk of my own life being so worried about what would happen if I finally just said NO to all of the many things that weren’t true to me.
I spent precious time in my short years, not making the choices that I wanted to make, out of fear of letting people down.
I wasted all of my emotional energy worrying about what people thought of me for making choices that they deemed ‘selfish’.
I lived in complete disharmony with myself – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – for YEARS, ignoring myself on every level.
And now, I work with women who are literally falling apart at the seams, trying to manage their overbooked and overcommitted lives, in bodies that are literally screaming at them – trying to get them to come back to their precious selves, and finally reassess what is actually important.
I’m not talking about just a little bit of overwhelm from time to time.
I’m talking real deal, can’t-move exhaustion, day after day, month after month, where the adrenal glands no longer have the capacity to produce the (very necessary) hormones that we need to thrive, because they have been so overworked.
I’m talking chronic PMS – because the body can’t produce enough progesterone (the lovely anti-PMS hormone!) because – surprise surprise – the stress hormone cortisol has stolen all of it’s precursor (this is known as the ‘pregnenalone steal’).
I’m talking debilitating period pain that is brushed off as ‘normal’.
I’m talking chronic insomnia – because the nervous system is stuck in sympathetic ‘fight/flight’ response, which doesn’t exactly encourage rest. Or, on the contrary, a heavy sleep which feels completely unrefreshing. (Both are indicative of exhaustion, and nervous system imbalance).
I’m talking tears and meltdowns and yelling at the kids and the husband and anyone else who gets in the way at the wrong time. Cue:guilt. (Its literally not you, it’s your hormones).
I’m talking gripping anxiety, all the time.
I’m talking about a feeling of drowning, of being trapped in the very life that has been consciously created around you.
I’m talking digestive systems that can’t digest properly – because when we are stuck in sympathetic nervous system dominance, the body shunts all the blood away from the digestive organs, leaving the stomach, liver, intestines and other key players with limited oxygen and nutrients to perform their important functions. (Digestion is not important to your body when it is stuck in survival mode).
I’m talking weight gain or weight loss which isn’t normal and doesn’t ‘match’ a woman’s actions (ie, when you are eating and moving ‘perfectly’, and nothing is shifting).
I’m talking addiction to coffee, wine, sugar and excess carbs – an attempt to get some (fake) energy to get through the day.
Most of all, I’m talking about a complete disconnection from our soul, our spirit, the inner part of us that knows there is more to life that this. When we are disconnected from who we really are, it often manifests as feeling depressed, alone, misunderstood, and hopeless.
The truth is … it’s all just a wake-up call.
Your body, mind and spirit are literally doing everything they can to get you to (finally) be authentic.
And you know what?
Being authentic is probably going to mean saying NO. A lot.
And letting people down.
And making different choices.
And truly tuning in to the fact that your life is not forever.
Most of all, being authentic and creating the health and the life that you TRULY desire, is going to mean saying goodbye to your inner people pleaser.
It’s going to mean NOT letting that part of you – that part that is unconsciously searching for love, recognition and appreciation – run your choices anymore. Constantly letting a yes fall out off your mouth, when every ounce of your being is screaming a solid no.
Every time you make a choice that is out of alignment with your intuition, your higher self, your inner guidance … you break your spirit a little more.
Every time you expend your energy when you don’t really want to, you put your nervous system a little more into survival mode.
Every time you give from your cup without filling it back up, you run the risk of reaching ’empty’ (or, beyond empty).
Every time you ignore yourself, you dishonour the very gift that your life is.
I am not suggesting that we don’t care for other people, and do things that are in the best interests of those that we care about. We don’t even have to worry about that. Women will never stop caring for everyone. But women are pretty quick to stop caring about themselves.
What I am suggesting, is that we start to extend ourselves all of that which we so willingly extend to other people.
THAT is where change begins.
Because, when we extend ourselves what we really need first – we develop more and more of that vital energy that we so need to have banked up, if we want to adequately care for the rest of the people / things / animals / commitments that exists in our world.
Set yourself free (and finally allow yourself to begin the healing process) by letting go of your inner people pleaser, and stepping into your higher, truest, most aligned self – the part of you that deeply honours the miracle of your life, and always knows what choices to make to make the very most of it.
You are not selfish if you look after you. You are selfish if you don’t, because when you are falling apart, you can’t serve others.
All LOVE –
Naturopath / Women’s Life Coach // Melbourne, Australia / Skype
Stay connected with me.
I work as a Naturopath + Life Coach in Melbourne, Australia, and via Skype.
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