Our problem never exists within someone else, but always within ourselves.
There’s a litany of words that spill over lips and computer screens.
Men who perhaps are different, perhaps have different intentions or beliefs, yet in the end—or really, I suppose, in the beginning—they all say the same thing.
You only ended up saying the same thing I’ve heard from others.
Others who loved me, who tried to love, who had good intentions to love me. In the end though, it was themselves, their own fears, their own limits and the voices of others that were still determining how they felt about themselves.
They believe the story they’ve been writing in their heads; they still subscribe to the doubt and the fear that they’ve lived their lives by and so they live the only they can; without trust.
You said you don’t trust yourself but what you’re really saying is I neglect myself. I don’t know how to listen to my truth, I don’t know what my truth is and I don’t want to make the commitment to doing better or growing---or at least they don’t want to make that commitment to me. To themselves. They don’t know where to begin. They feel unpredictable, irrational and they can’t promise to do better because they don’t even know what that means for themselves. They want the easy. The easy way in, the easy way out. They can’t deal with more.
And they can’t deal with themselves being more either.
Yet as women we hear these words and many times we want to be that fix for their pain. Their anecdote for self-realization or confidence and so we somehow think that by trusting them more, we will help them learn to trust themselves. But it’s the same outcome as if we tried to love enough for two, thinking somehow the over indulgence of one will remedy the lack of the other.
But it never does.
So no, I won’t take on this as mine. I will agree, I will mirror it and point it out---I might even joke about it or be too blunt. But it is not mind to fix. You are not mine to fix. You are not my work in progress or my greatest masterpiece. You are not my plan, my eggs all in one basket or something that I have already attached myself to so that if left I become empty because I had already given it all to you.
Because while perhaps some lessons take longer to learn than others, when we start seeing the patterns, the same words we can no longer ignore the meaning that it has for us.
See the truth is that at one time---I didn’t trust myself.
I didn’t trust myself to know what I needed, who I was or what I wanted. I didn’t trust myself to know what was best for me, to believe that I wasn’t going to be filled with regret and change my mind a moment later. But I also didn’t trust myself to commit to anything. Not just love or a relationship but hell even that plane ticket seemed daunting because of the looming what if. What if I changed my mind, what if something else came along, what if I was wrong.
I would what if myself into being stuck. Into not making a move at all. Not taking a chance, an opportunity. I wouldn’t make a decision or even choice and while I thought it was cute that I left it all up to you, and to him too, it really came down to the fact that I wanted someone else to decide so I wouldn’t have to.
So I wouldn't have to carry that burden of responsibility.
But the thing that I realized isn’t only that no one can teach you to trust yourself, but that trust, and acceptance are inherently tied together. I still don’t know if I’ll change my mind tomorrow but now that no longer stops me from making plans. I can’t say that I have it all figured out but that no longer is an obstacle for me to learn more.
As I began to take chances and to stretch myself in ways I had previously been too scared to I realized that if I simply extended acceptance to myself, my choices, my desires, my thoughts and even the fact that I may very well change my mind---I no longer was distrustful of my choices. I realized that it wasn’t a lack of trust I had, but in a lack of understanding that there was nothing I was sealed into.
There was no choice, no decision, no plan, relationship or even vacation that I had to go through with. There was nothing that couldn’t be undone, or changed, or switched around. It was all fluid, it had always been that way, but I could only see things as being black or white. Working or failing, beginning or ending and so as I accepted myself, as I gave myself permission to change my mind, plans and life I realized that I did trust myself.
I just hadn’t given myself that freedom through self-acceptance.
So I know these words, I am actually old friends with them and so I know that it’s no mistake that you’re not the first to speak these words to me---but the one thing I can promise, is that you’ll be the last. Because not only do I accept myself, I trust myself; to make choices, decisions, to jump at opportunities and take what life gives me.
I trust myself to be me, to love and to make the most of every second of this beautiful life.
And so while any relationship will have triggers or challenges, whatever man comes into my space now won’t just trust me---but himself as well. He will trust the moment, his feelings and yes, even love itself. He will have accepted his quirks, his flow knowing everything changes, everything should change because we are not meant to remain stagnant. We are not meant to remain as we were because then there is no way to transform into who we're capable of being.
My mirror has changed-and so what I attract has changed as well.
Because we can stay for days or weeks, even years; we can repeat the same patterns repeatedly hoping to be the change someone else needs, but if they don’t accept themselves, if they don’t trust themselves then that choice will only collect dust on a shelf labeled regrets.
Until you trust yourself---you won’t ever trust me, and the thing is now I see, it’s also not my job to prove that. It’s not my responsibility to show you why you should trust me, not my work to do it for you until you can---it’s yours.
Because the only true self-work that we do is the one done for ourselves by ourselves.