I often meet people who are stuck in "the valley of indecision." For many, the inability to make a decision is often due to worries about appearances. What would my family think? How is everyone else going to be impacted by this choice?
Ordinarily, I am in favor of considering the needs of others. However, for too many people--especially women of faith--everyone else's needs become a major stumbling block. We remain in painful marriages for the sake of our children. we "stick it out" in unproductive relationships because we do not want to devastate the expectations of our community. And while these are noble considerations for someone who is considering their options for getting unstuck from a frustrating situation, they should not be determinative.
Especially if you are not telling yourself the truth.
Many women of faith who interface with my legal practice are very sincere towards everyone else in their lives. The problem is that they have not first served that same energy, passion and intentionality to be sincere with themselves. I recently had this conversation with another mom about this aspect of life as a modern woman. The way she illustrated the situation was so beautifully said:
"You know how we are as women. We set ourselves on fire to keep everyone else warm."
She nailed it with this statement.
But why do we do this? I made a trip to the grocery store this morning. Side note: Publix radio always leaves me with songs stuck in my head LOL. They began playing Whitey Houston's "I'm Every Woman." I began singing and bopping as I did my shopping, "It's all in meeeee...."
And then I stopped cold. Why am I EVERY woman? Why is is ALL in me?
See, this is the problem. Somewhere in our lives, we got the wrong signal. We were taught that we are supposed to be "every" woman. We are supposed to make money, raise the kids, and keep our house. We are supposed to contribute to society, nurture everyone else, and somehow have enough left over to give our husbands a warm greeting at the end of each day.
Ladies...we are doing too much.
And too often, we keep pushing ourselves even when all of our internal signals are screaming "slow down." We keep it moving, imagining how the world will fall apart if we are not on assignment for the thousands of moving pieces of our lives.
I'm crying out to you if you have been feeling tired. I'm reaching out to you if you have been crying yourself to sleep at night. If you feel trapped between taking care of yourself and everyone else, I'm here to unburden you with this one truth...
You have not been keeping it real.
You have picked up burdens you do not need to carry. You have not been totally honest with yourself. Pretending to be okay when you are not will not serve everyone else who you keep showing up for. And if you want to be an awesome wife, mother, boss, or friend, then you must first show up for yourself.
And tell yourself the truth.
Are you keeping it real? Are you performing for acceptance? What are you afraid of?
And while I cannot promise things are going to change overnight for you, I can promise you this: If you continue confronting yourself, you will get unstuck. You will encounter your true motivations. You will find peace.
And when you find peace, you can make the hard decisions regardless of what everyone else thinks. You will stop being a prisoner to everyone else's expectations. You will heal.