Let’s get this straight.
I have never been a docile, passive or victim-y person. I have never appeared to be the damsel-in-distress-type. I’ve always had my snappy comebacks. My audaciously loud laugh. My sassy independence.
Yet for most of my adult life, concealed behind the tough exterior, was a woman (girl) secretly waiting to be saved.
I believed that if I just had the right guy. Or the right job. Or the right body. Or the right family.
Or maybe if I lived in the right place. Or fell into enough money.
That everything would be ok. That I would finally be safe.
That I would feel at home. That I would belong.
I didn’t want to admit this. Not to myself. Not to those around me. I’ve always considered myself independent. A go-getter. A leader.
I hid the truth. I was scared. Lonely. And wanting to latch onto anything or anybody that could save me.
The more I wanted to be saved the more I drowned. Choking on my insecurity. My fear. My shame.
I clung to people that seemed strong enough for both of us.
I gave up my pieces of my life. My voice. Believing that loyalty and loss-of-self were the price I would have to pay for safety. For love.
Absolutely devastated to learn that my self-appointed-saviors had no intention of saving me.
Not understanding that even if they wanted to. They couldn’t have.
I found myself in the middle of a life that I had single-handedly created.
I had gotten myself deeply into debt. A newly divorced mom of a little girl who desperately needed me to be strong. For her. For us. My career was in crisis. My identity had been uprooted. I didn’t know who to be. Who I was. What I believed in. Or who I wanted to become.
I was drowning.
And no amount of money. No man. No friend. No family could save me from myself. From my own insecurities. From my own self-inflicted limitations.
I needed to learn how to swim that sea on my own.
All this thrashing around waiting, wishing and hoping for help was getting me nowhere. No one was coming to save me. And then it clicked.
I could save myself. And I did. And I continue to.
Since then, I’ve learned that there is no greater safety than being willing to lose everything. Again and again.
I’ve learned that the thing we usually run from is the thing we need to walk directly into. Whether it is confrontation, failure or fear. Running from things only makes them worse.
I’ve learned that there is no greater expression of love than being willing to have our hearts broken. To be willing to share ourselves. Wide open. Is the greatest gift that life has to offer.
I’ve learned that everything is truly ok. Even when it seems like it’s not. And we must trust that given enough time everything makes sense in the end.
I’ve learned that we don’t need to find a home. We carry home with us.
Instead of waiting to belong to someone. We can spend our lives belong-ing ourselves to others.
I’ve learned that we all have moments where we wish and hope that someone can swoop in and save us.
We all have things that seem like too much to bear. Too much to change. Too much to carry on our own.
But if we lean on someone else - or wait for someone else to save us - we end up weakening ourselves. We become more susceptible to injury. We lose sight of our own power.
Don’t forget that you already know how to swim.
And you’re the only one who can get you where you really want to go.
You are so much stronger than you think.