If you are anything like me and growing up you adopted "pleasing" as a way of being seen and validated by your environment, then pleasing has kept you safe for a long, long time. Pleasing has built walls so you could protect yourself emotionally, spiritually and perhaps even physically, and survive your world. And maybe you have embarked on a journey of letting go of pleasing others in this way that is not healthy for you, and you know that others’ happiness and comfort is not your job nor your responsibility anymore. Maybe you have realized that what you really want is to know yourself beyond this pattern and you want to be able to love in a different way, with healthy boundaries. I get you.
Then you might come to a point where you ponder this question: who was I before I began to please? Who was the little boy or the little girl before they fragmented into multiple “selves” to accommodate, to keep the peace, to manage others’ emotions? And when you ask that question, you might not know the answer... and that uncertainty might scare the shit out of you. Standing in such an existential unknown can be destabilizing like the ground is moving under you. In that moment, you feel that the protection and the safety you have worked so hard to build throughout your life is gone. Your thick skin has softened, your walls have come down, you feel exposed, more vulnerable than you have felt in a long time. And you wonder if this is good for you, if this is the right path.
I invite you to stay there. Stay right where you are. Don’t rush this part. This is the bridge, the gateway to remembering who you really are, who you were before you forgot. Remain with the uncertainty, in the in-between space of identity. You will emerge anew, in time.
But this is very important: during this time make sure you surround yourself with people who are emotionally safe and put yourself in environments that are nurturing, kind, life-giving, and expansive. If you can't find such people or environments, go for neutral. Neutral attention is better than emotionally abusive attention. The last thing you need during this period is to be walking on eggshells around people who need you more than you need them. Be selfish. You are tending to the most important of all relationships: the one you have with the mystery of life within you, who you really are. For now, you are your authority, your advocate, your bouncer. Ask for what you need, draw the line in the sand clearly, and stick to it. What you will discover in time will bring you more meaning, peace, and joy than ever before, and your strength, your power will return in a way that is even more grounded, like a volcano sharing her truth, uncompromisingly. Safety and protection will not be needed anymore, they will make way to clarity, focus, light, and power. You've got this.