I’d fold down into small shapes—contorting my body, mind, and spirit to fit into boxes that weren’t mine.
These boxes were laid out in front of me—people demanding consciously or unconsciously that I need to stay in these boxes if I want to have a “good” relationship with them.
But I was tired and sore from all the contorting and gymnastics I’d done my entire life to adjust and adapt to toxic patterns that weren’t mine to begin with.
For many years, I wasn’t even aware I was doing all this twisting, bending, and contorting.
Maybe the only clue I had was a teeny-tiny, barely noticeable sense of dissatisfaction deep in my core.
The problem was these patterns and boxes were so familiar that, on some level, they felt like home. So for years, I was repeating them in different situations, relationships, and experiences—completely unaware why things were the way they were.
It was so frustrating because, despite working on myself, I’d feel like I wasn’t making progress.
I also realized that just saying to oneself that I won’t adjust, accommodate, or people please is rarely successful.
(I’d try to stop myself from repeating this behavior but I’d have to be hyper-aware. I’d often toggle back and forth between making a different choice and slipping into old ways. It was hard because it required so much mind space as I was going through my day. I was in a constant state of negotiation with myself on where I’d stay true to myself and where I’d let things slide—it was exhausting!)
As a woman, I bet you can relate to this in some ways.