When my Nana was in her 40’s she decided she’d had enough of her teeth after getting toothaches.
So she decided she’d book herself in to have them all removed and replaced with false teeth.
My Grandad was flummoxed.
He knew she was strong willed and he was unlikely to influence her, but it didn’t stop him trying.
Her Mother, my Great Grandmother who I never met, was equally perturbed, “What on earth would possess you to get all your teeth taken out?”
My Nana was unfazed by their criticism and the dismissal of her idea.
This made perfect sense to her.
When the deed was done, she was horrified to learn she’d be without teeth for two weeks while they made her new ones! Leaving her to hide at home while she waited.
BUT, she’d done what she wanted!
My Nana has always been compliant and played the roles assigned to her as Daughter Wife, Mother. Always in relation to what someone else expected her to be. Deep down though she has a core of steel and a strong will and those close to her know it. (If you’d followed me for a while you’ll know she’s a force to be reckoned with! You can read more of her exploits in these blog posts) But sometimes it’s not easy to be the person you want and do the things you need to make you happy. Especially for women.
The cultural paradigm is that we’ll be “good girls” and not cause a fuss. Whilst simultaneously putting the needs of others above our own to be “selfless”, the ultimate paragon of female virtue. So we oblige and support until suddenly it’s one thing too many and we rebel, even if only briefly. Often that rebellion can be shocking to the people we support. “But you’ve always done x,y,z” they exclaim, “why is this time any different?” And often we can’t even really put our finger on why! Suddenly, the idea of making a cup of tea/ a meal / a favour fills you with disproportionate rage.
When the moment has passed you can feel deeply ashamed that you had such a strong reaction. The outburst is often out of proportion to the situation because it’s not really about that one thing. Even if you said nothing out loud, the shock of how strong your feelings were can make you feel a tiny bit unhinged. “What’s wrong with me?” To yourself “What’s wrong with you?” From the people around you. Has that ever happened to you?
Knowing what you want
How can you deal with this simmering pot so it doesn’t boil over and, more importantly, how can you express what you really need? Often we are out of practice at knowing what we want and need. If someone offered you a whole day to do whatever you pleased, how easy would you find it to know what to do? Perhaps you’d have a really clear idea but more likely, if you have a tendency to over give, you might find you’re unsure. “What do I like to do just for myself?” I’m not talking about things like going to a yoga class or a walk or a catch up with a friend. I mean what would deeply nourish you in your soul. What would help you become the person you’re here to be and live the life you’re meant to lead?
The process of finding out what you truly want and need doesn’t happen overnight. It involves 3 things: 1. Recognising the Story you’ve been told about who you are What roles are you playing in your life? What beliefs do you carry about who you are and what you’re capable of? How have the people in your life shaped, often unconsciously, the space you take up and how you show up in your life? 2. Deciding to take control of your Story Can you start to create habits of behaviour that bust you out of the patterns that hold you in place? Perhaps finding practices that help you to unhook from the thoughts and feelings that play on a loop 3. Believing you can create a new Story This bit can be tricky! We all crave safety as much as growth. When we spend a lifetime living a certain way, as soon as we make moves to change it can feel scary. Part of you, often the inner critical voice inside you, will work hard to convince you that it’s not a good idea to change too much. Perhaps convincing you it’s selfish, unrealistic or stupid.
Beginning to find your Voice
One way to begin to create that self belief is through finding your voice and beginning to express what you want and need, right here and now. I’m excited to let you know I’m hosting a free workshop with Guest Expert Hattie Voelcker on Monday 15th November at 8pm. You can find out more and sign up to join us here Hattie’s going to be sharing how to express yourself, despite the fear of being seen and judged. Allowing you to start showing up differently in your life. See you there As always, do reply if this resonates with you. I love to hear from you.
Laura @ Be. x
“When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself”. - Paulo Coelho