The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn.
When I read this quote, I fell in love with it immediately. I loved it because it gave me permission to let go of what no longer serves my truest self—and the permission to do what does.
I've spent years unlearning old patterns of behavior. How about you? These are patterns that keep us
~small and insecure, or
~voiceless and afraid, or
~exhausted and overwhelmed, or
~carrying around a lot of shoulds, or
~self-sacrificing and martyring, or
~being a "responsibility sponge" (as my friend & mentor, Sue Patton Thoele says)
Sigh ... sometimes it seems there are so many! Each of these is a pattern we learned from any number of sources—parents, elders, teachers, church, culture, media—mostly when we were very young and didn't know any better.
But now we do. We are women on the path to awakening. We have the ability to consciously choose new thoughts, new feelings, new ways of being in the world. Yes, we can choose!
So today, what are you unlearning? What are you choosing to do to honor yourself?
If you are tired, are you resting?
If you are overburdened, can you say "No, thank you"?
If you are being treated unkindly, can you walk away?
If you are overworked, are you playing?
If you are shouldering "shoulds," can you do only what feels right for you in this moment?
Today I am choosing to not take on the responsibilities that a dear loved one could be taking on for herself. I am letting go. I am setting a healthy new boundary for myself.
Wow! Does that feel good.
So, how are you honoring yourself today?
And if not, what might a new, healthy, self-honoring choice be instead?
I'm eager to hear ...
(This post was inspired by the book, The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem by Sue Patton Thoele. It's a classic that every woman should have in her home library.
Image of "Women Dancing with Torah" by salomedesigns.com)