Especially when it is from one of my clients who can write circles around me. One who is not scared to open up her fears and dump them on the page. All for the sake of your learnin’ and love. Let me introduce to you the incredible Jamie Jensen.
You don’t know me, but I’m working with Kira. I’m doing the Owner’s Manual.
I’m rocking it. Except when I’m not.
Here’s the thing. I’m a little bit of a control freak, a people pleaser, a worrier.
My default mode is STRESS.
My normal setting is WORKAHOLISM.
My energy is usually in DRIVE.
So just “being” is really hard for me, because even when I can truly achieve it (and achieve it well) I struggle with feeling like I deserve it, or earned it.
This goes for work performance, finances, and body image.
If I don’t feel like I’m fit, lean or thin enough — I can’t possibly deserve to live with any abandon in my body. If I don’t feel like I’ve practically killed myself to accomplish something major, I am looking for proof that I deserve to celebrate. If I think about my overall financial snapshot, I feel severely damaged as a human. Which is unfortunate, because there are people in way worse situations than mine.
But the best (worst) part of this amazing (that’s sarcasm) self-image I have? My major accomplishments go largely uncelebrated. Seriously people, I made a movie. A MOVIE. And I’m just like “meh, I could do better.”
So basically, I’ve spent a long ass time in the business of torturing myself.
It’s a lot of fun. (NOT.) And the thing is – no one knows it’s even happening, because I’m very good at making sure everyone else is OK and having fun.
Yeah, I’ve been putting on a good show as a cover for my ever fluctuating self esteem, for my whole life.
So now, in my 30s, I’m finally coming into my own and learning how to truly please myself, and, more importantly, actually believe I deserve to. I’m starting to finally feel free and enjoy my life on my own terms. However, I can not be in denial of this fucked up perceived social value that a lot of women have. Women are in the space of feeling like they have to prove their worth, while simultaneously hoping some guy is going to come along who will flip the switch and prove it for them by loving them.
Neither is going to happen, baby cakes. Especially not if you don’t deal with your shit first.
So, yeah. I’m finally in a place where I am doing what I want, and not feeling guilty about it. So insert a potentially loving relationship into the mix, and what comes out of the other side? Straight up fucking CRAZY. Because fuck, relationships are a lot of things. But if nothing else, they are mirrors.
So let me tell you what I’m seeing…
FIRST, all of the reasons I freak out when I start dating someone…
What if I hurt them because I don’t know what I want?
What if I’m not as into them as I think I am?
What if they reject me?
What if they don’t want what I want?
What if I am humiliated by another failed relationship?
What if I make myself vulnerable and get hurt?
What if I’m not lovable? Because of my body, emotions, money, etc…
What if I’m not “good enough?”
Any of this shit ringing a bell? Yeah – these are the knee jerk responses when you’re operating from fear. Love doesn’t say this to me. Love says I’m a hot-as-fuck, hilarious, compassionate, driven, successful, creative and fun KEEPER, and no one should let me slip through their fingers. But love hasn’t been running this show 24/7. Newsflash, LOVE, your vacation is over!
SECOND, all of the reasons I think I don’t deserve to be in a loving relationship.
Hey, when I’m not kind to myself, I don’t believe that anyone else should be kind to me either.
I’m fat, gross, not attractive enough.
I’m not financially stable enough.
I’m overly emotional or “crazy,” this is my favorite because this is the one that says I can’t actually love someone – because love is emotional – and then if I show that I have feelings, all bets are off. My stock will drop.
I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this. Literally anyone in my life from the outside looking in would be like “are you crazy?” And I will look them right back in the face and say “YES.” Because this shit is batshit crazy, but it doesn’t make it any less real, or any easier to eliminate. It’s a default setting. Kind of like a loop that I circle through – you overcome, rinse, repeat.
But I’m seeing someone now. Someone amazing. Someone who makes me think things like “where have you been all my life?” Someone who I can’t get enough of. Someone who is worth me working on all of this CRAP so I can enjoy the possibilities, and be what they truly deserve.
Which makes me, of course, freak out.
Here are the thoughts that make truly investing in someone so scary:
I’ll be rejected or abandoned. Cheated on, or in some way, “not enough.” Inadequate. Not the girl they want. Not the woman they need. Not the one they love. Fun, cute, sexy, but lukewarm. Mediocre. Meh.
I’ll fall in love and have to deal with losing someone I love. I’ve already lost a parent. Will I be OK? Sure. Do I want to deal with pain like that again? Not really.
I’ll have to change. Here’s the clincher. I have to change. I have to sacrifice. I have to let go. But what I really have to let go of, is all of the shit that isn’t serving me anyway. (See above for a list of “shit.”)
I’ll have to start being kind to myself so I can be kind to someone else. I’ll have to believe I deserve love, and allow myself to love another person. I’ll have to stop being 31 going on 15, and just be 31.
I’ll have to put someone else’s needs before mine (I’m good at that) except instead of it being everyone’s needs, it will just be those of this one person whom I’ve chosen to devote myself to.
I’ll have to allow the good into my life, without sabotaging it.
I’ll have to love my body as it is, so I can experience pleasure with complete abandon.
I’ll have to stop performing and start BEING with another person. Just being. And trusting that it’s enough because it’s all there really is.
I’ll have to show up, consistently, and keep showing up – because, like everything else in life, there are no guarantees. Just two people showing up and trusting the other person to keep showing up too.
I’ll have to do what’s right for the relationship instead of what’s right for my ego.
I’ll have to communicate. Fuck up. Learn. Figure out what I need to feel good, and how to continue having that conversation so everyone feels good. THIS SHIT IS HARD. And I’m totally scared I’m going to fuck it up, roll over and forget to voice myself which will only be bad for the relationship.
But most of all, I’ll have to love. Like really, really, give myself over to it. For the sake of everyone, for the sake of my dreams, for the sake of the kind of relationship I have always wanted but never had the balls to really try on.
So here I am – I’m scared. I’m falling in love. I’m changing.
And it feels really fucking good.
Ready to make changes like Jamie? Let’s talk turkey and create an Owner’s Manual for you.