The balance of power in a relationship can sway back and forth between partners. Other times, we find one personality is dominant, leaving the second half in the shadows. Often times, women are the ones guilty of giving up more than their share to fulfill the love of a lifetime.
I’ve been on the short end of this type of relationship. It‘s easy to get caught up in the emotion of someone new. Although, over time the euphoria wears off, the damage has been done in increments. You may have already noticed pieces of yourself fading away.
By the time you realize you are living in darkness, your identity has been stripped. Unless you know who you really are, it can be tough to shake the effects that ultimately, extinguish your light.
“The path to paradise begins in hell”- Dante, The Divine Comedy
Women are often hard on themselves , as they try to fit molds created by an old world patriarchal society. The trepidation of living out loud can consume the authentic you like a raisin in the sun. Shrinking to appease the masses while your true self suffocates in a shell that is far from the woman inside you. It‘s enough to create a type of turmoil difficult to free yourself from. The more we allow ourselves to morph into something we aren’t, the less happy we become and that is a place where our personal hell can begin.
There are countless stories of women experiencing unsatisfied lives because their true self is hidden underneath the role of wife, mother or professional. Dimming your light is an extreme disservice to the woman you are meant to be. I came across an old Alicia Keys interview with Oprah Winfrey where she discussed her own journey to the woman she is today. The songstress shared a powerful prayer with viewers that is nothing short of inspiring.
“Everyday I pray to become the very best version of myself, that I shine more brightly by the day, and that I operate not at half dim but at full wattage.”
– Alicia Keys, Excerpt from “More Myself”
Have you ever lessened yourself to please someone else out of love, fear or shame? Some relationships are a feeding ground for this kind of behavior. I am no stranger to taking a back seat allowing someone else to shine. Blame it on love, thinking it was what I had to do, in order to keep him. The journey we are on teaches us countless lessons. I’ve learned, that I am enough and the woman I am has to be seen. Simple but incredibly powerful because it is a testament to the process of a girl becoming a woman of self-love. Understanding its significance takes time and requires constant practice. As an eternal romantic, my nature is to relinquish all of me in relationships. Old fashioned? May very well be, so it is an ongoing struggle to remind myself that personal happiness is key to living my best life. Newfound freedom that takes getting used to, however, once you take hold – it cannot be turned off.
Taking power back when you are living an ugly truth is complicated, as well as, painful but not impossible. There are a few things you can do to regain inner strength.
1. Being honest with yourself is one of the hardest things you may ever do but a necessary evil on the way to creating your best self.
2. Let go of those that do not embrace all of you. The people who truly love you will want to see you shine. Don’t be afraid of your greatness, expand your wings.
3. Becoming the woman you’re meant to be takes constant work, practice and being kind to yourself. Change happens over time not in days. Mistakes will occur, the toughest part is taking the first step on this journey.
Show yourself, it is certainly worth the growing pains that will come from breaking out of the silence of your retreat. Nothing will feel as good as being an empowered version of you.
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