A behavior/mindset I’m quitting is my fierce independence. One of my biggest fears is to become a burden on anyone. Why should anyone else help carry the weight of what I can’t handle? Or help me solve a mess I probably created myself? Or be the sounding board for the stuff that keeps me awake with insomnia? I figure I’ve just gotta suck it up, get stronger, try harder and do better.
Independence became an absolute necessity when I abruptly left my insular cult-life to move to NYC at 23yo to pursue a prohibited dance career.
In “NO”vember I’m saying “no” to feeling sorry for myself this holiday season. The last eight weeks of the year often feel like a balled up fist of loss and loneliness and a sucker punch to the chest. I have so many empty holiday memories because of growing up in a cult that celebrated nothing. Would-be cherished times and traditions with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles were unfairly taken from me. My sister and I, the Lamb sisters, are truly the black sheep of the family. But at least we have each other.
I wouldn’t say it it’s easy to say “no” but it’s definitely getting easier. After decades of people-pleasing I’m finally less concerned about disappointing others than I am about disappointing myself. The heavy feelings of resentment and regret are no longer worth saying “yes” to things that aren’t in alignment with my spirit. But I was raised to put everyone else first. My religion taught me that the very definition of JOY is “Jehovah. Others. You”. In that order! I was coerced into believing that my wants, needs, goals and desires were selfish.
I believe that authenticity is the foundation for everything. I’ve gotta feel comfortable in my own skin; knowing who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for. Plus what I want, need, and desire to feel successful and fulfilled. And those things shift because life lessons build wisdom, life circumstances show me the impact of choice, and relationships serve as mirrors. So it requires constant self-awareness. But without being grounded in my truth, I have no integrity or sense of direction. And as someone who was raised in a cult, with a value and belief system forced upon me, I know how disempowering that feels. Because I was raised in a high control religion, I believe
In 2022 I want to learn more about the craft of writing. I first fell in love with writing in Mr. Craig’s 5th grade class. He had a way of making words feel like colorful puzzle pieces that, when thoughtfully constructed, created pictures so vivid they’d transport me into a world far more adventurous than my own. Like dance, writing became a portal into my dreamworld. I needed that as a kid growing up in a high control religion because I had to suppress so much of who I was.
I’m leaving behind the limiting beliefs that “I am not __________ enough“. You could fill in the blank with damn near any adjective and I’ve probably said it to myself a gazillion times. Let’s just say, when you’re raised in a cult, you grow these oversized fears of making mistakes or not measuring up to ridiculous puritanical standards, lest you be shunned by your family and the only community you know. That threat is scary and real! There was this constant feeling that big brother was watching. And “he” was.