You are the main event in your own life.
It is difficult to see and it is difficult to feel, but it is true. So very true.
You are not a punching bag for someone else to take his or her anger out on.
You are not a toilet for someone to emotionally vomit on.
You are not an accessory to make someone else look good.
You are not a pawn in someone else’s game.
You are not someone else’s prop.
You are not someone else’s problem.
You are not put into someone else’s life to fix his or her childhood.
You are not put into someone else’s life to fix his or her past relationships.
You are not put into someone else’s life so they don’t hurt themselves.
You are not put into someone else’s life to take responsibility for them so they can avoid taking responsibility for themselves.
You can love and love and love and give and give and give and still come up empty. In fact, in a toxic relationship, no good deed goes unpunished! No matter how carefully you try, no matter how carefully you walk around the eggshells, there is always a reason for them to be angry. There is always a good reason that something is YOUR fault. We try and we try and we think, “If I could just communicate what I was trying to say or trying to do then they would see that I wasn’t trying to hurt them. I wasn’t trying to make them mad. I wasn’t trying to embarrass them. I wasn’t trying to be difficult. I wasn’t trying to be selfish. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. If I could just communicate how much I love them then things would be different. Surely if I love them well enough then I can find…peace.”
Our stories and movies don’t teach us how toxic relationships work. In our stories, there is usually a clear line between the hero and the villain and as we sit in front of the page or the screen we learn that love ALWAYS overcomes. People don’t trick the people they love. People don’t power over their soulmates. People don’t control their lovers. If they struggle a while, then they always realize their mistakes, they always change. In our stories, love is always enough. And, we so badly want to be loved that we convince ourselves that our love for them is enough. Yet, love becomes a nightmare when one person is responsible for the giving and another is responsible for taking. Love is a prison when you no longer become the main event in your own life but instead are reduced to becoming a supporting role in someone else’s. A supporting role for his or her taking their pain, shame, and blame.
You are not put in your own life to be a supporting role. You are put in your life to be the star – the main event. It isn’t about being selfish, it is about practicing self-care so you can love the world well. It is about taking responsibility for your wellbeing and your life purpose so you can fulfill your role to the world, not just fulfill your role to your toxic partner. We are put in one another’s life to help one another, but we are not put in each other’s lives to save one another. Each person is responsible for themselves, for their own pain, their own progress, their own health and their own healing. You are put in your life to be your person. You may not have had a parent, grandparent or teacher teach you this lesson. You may have had your kindness used against you. You may have always been the caretaker, the giver, the one who was always putting aside their own needs for someone else’s. You may have felt like it was never your turn. You may even feel as if you don’t ever deserve for it to be your turn. But, sometimes it IS your turn. Otherwise, you are just teaching someone else that is it okay to be selfish.
Now is your chance. Write yourself a permission note, post it on your mirror and don’t ever turn back.
I give you permission to be bigger than you ever imagined. I give you permission to be strong as well as kind, brave as well as good, firm as well as forgiving. I give you permission to stand up for what you need so you can be a gift to the world rather than allowing yourself to be beaten down by the world. I give you permission to ask others to treat you with the same respect you give them. I give you permission to pursue a different life, a better life. I give you permission to be you. You are the only one on earth who can be Sarah. Don’t let anyone else take that away from you. Don’t let anyone else take that away from the world.
Because, if you don’t give yourself permission to live your own life than you are constantly turning control of your life over to other people. Sometimes, this feels safer. If we don’t know what decisions to make then it is much easier to allow someone else to make our decision for us. There can be so much pressure and anxiety that comes from being forced to feel our own feelings. If we can save someone else we believe we can save some part of ourselves. Leaving or losing a toxic relationship puts us face to face with our own demons. It can force us to face our own fears, to face our weak spots and failures. But, in this life, the only constant is that we are stuck with ourselves. And, if you are stuck with one person for life, then make sure that person is someone you like, someone you love. Choose you. Choose to take care of yourself, to be with yourself – to be with yourself for better or for worse, in sickness and health, in poverty and wealth. You don’t have to look for your person, you already have your person and that person is you.
You can’t save them. But, you can save yourself.
Recovering from a toxic relationship means putting aside the lie that wanting to be loved well is needy and wanting to be respected is selfish. Recovering from a toxic relationship means taking responsibility for your own well being. Recovering from a toxic relationship means grieving the loss of months or years, the loss of a dream, the loss of a lover, the loss of yourself and then figuring out a way to forgive and move on. Not because their behavior was okay. Not because they have said they are sorry. Not because people have discovered the truth about their lies. But, so you can sleep at night. So they can’t get to you anymore. So they don’t win.
Give yourself the kindness you once gave them. Give yourself the compassion you gave them. The forgiveness you gave them. The love you gave them. Healing is hard. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace to be angry, grace to feel the pain you held back for years and grace to make mistakes as you forward. But, whatever you do, give yourself permission to move forward.
Because you my friend, are the main event! Live life like you believe it!
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