I should do it. “Don’t should yourself” I hear my therapist say, her voice distinct in my head, her warm smile. But I want to, I know I need to, I should.
And so I open a browser and I type these words. Words that don’t know where they are going. Words that might have a map, but might not, and either way, they aren’t ready to let me see it just yet.
The terrain has been rough lately. Poison arrows being flung my way by someone who I thought I could trust. Someone who, when belly up, fights dirty. And I could recoil. I could drown in the feeling that I’m responsible for everyone’s happiness and I have, again, failed.
Instead I’m buoyed. It’s a strange feeling, really, to be tossed about in these rough waters having shed the fear of being pulled under. So things aren’t as I thought. So someone behaved in a way that I didn’t expect. And instead of self-deprication, I’ve pulled up on shore. Sitting back on these rocks, watching the water ebb and flow, like it always does, I see the curve of the earth in a different light.
From here I can see the ways, even more ways, that I make myself small and tiny and easily digestible for others. I see the vast vacuum into which I have put so much energy trying to be ‘good enough’. Being quiet. Being smooth and unprickly. Changing and shifting who I really am to make someone else more comfortable in their own life.
This is becoming a problem.
I realize just how huge a problem this is when people who I’ve shape shifted for, people who I’ve molded myself into someone else for, throw their venom at me and show me that I’m just as expendable as everyone else in their life. I can’t sit at the master’s feet like a dog and allow myself to be kicked.
The truth is, I don’t need her love. I wanted it. I’ve always wanted it. And she’s always withheld it, being a fortress of iron bars and walls and electric fences she has guarded her vulnerability and dangled her acceptance of me like a carrot. Now, though, I can see that not only was I never going to ever be good enough to truly be loved by her, but I don’t need that love. I don’t want love, any love, that comes with even a hint of condition.
Some day I will get to that place, perhaps at the foot of a rainbow, perhaps at the end of the yellow brick road, but I will get to that place where I simply am enough. Where I will look into a mirror and see that I am perfect just the way I am. Even with this myriad of imperfect features – my not curly enough or straight enough hair, my soft, lumpy body, my love affair with foul language, my dark and twisty humor – I will feel it vibrating from my core.
Yes Danielle, you are okay. You are enough. You are beautiful. You are whole.