Or, an alternative title – “Break the Pattern”.
I had this conversation with a lot of people lately, and myself in particular, so I thought it would be helpful to share it with you all. It goes something like this…
Change is hard.
Even if it is for the best, could make your life a hundred times happier, and is something you know you want to do – it is still hard. I think the reason it is so hard is because it is unfamiliar.
I look at my own life as an example.
A lot of days are still a battle for my body image and self-esteem. It would be easy for me to fall back into my old habits of restriction, over-exercising, and feeling like a stranger in my own skin. Even though I know I was miserable, I know I hated life, and I know it was unhealthy and dangerous – I could easily go back to that lifestyle, because I know exactly what it looks like and what it takes to do it.
It is much harder for me to actively change the thoughts in my head, and change the pattern that I perfected for years. It’s harder to heal my relationship with food and my body, because I don’t know what that kind of mentality looks like or how to get there. There’s a lot of trial-and-error, a lot of learning that happens, and just as many setbacks as there is progress.
But I want to heal. I want it so bad!! More than anything I’ve ever wanted in my life. So I fight every. single. day. to love myself better. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and even though I lose some days…I’m having more good days, and that makes it worth it. I will fight to have this light in my life.
Same thing goes for my romantic relationships, as well.
For months, I was still hurt about the guy from the summertime, and more generally – all the guys I had dated or been interested in throughout my life. I settled for a lot less than I deserved. Guys undervaluing me, stringing me along, using me, abusing my trust, being emotionally unavailable and selfish…that was the norm. The pattern was very clear, all it did was reinforce my negative self-image, and yet – that was the type that I kept attracting and kept getting involved with. I was used to it.
It’s really hard to demand better, and to stand up for myself. I don’t want to be alone forever, but a relationship that brings only negativity and pain is not worth it. There was a guy recently in my life that was quite nice but gave me really strange vibes, so I trusted my instincts for the first time ever and said no. I shut it down and left it as friends. Even more recently, I used what I had learned about myself from my past experiences, and was 1) actually my genuine self, not just an image I thought the guy wanted to see but also 2) stood up for myself and my beliefs…and because of that, I found someone that could appreciate that and appreciate me.
I know that I want a committed relationship with someone that values me as the catch that I am. I don’t know what that kind of relationship actually looks like, but I know I’m not going to find it if I keep compromising my values and going for boys who don’t treat me well. I want someone who brightens my life, and vice versa…and I’m going to keep breaking my pattern and attracting good people into my life until the timing is right and things work out. I can’t settle for anything less.Those are two really personal and specific examples, but the concept applies to a lot of things in life – unhappiness in your job, your academic subject, your friendships, your hobbies. To break the pattern you’ve established and find something that actually makes you happy, fills you with joy, and brightens your gosh darn existence…it is hard, but I promise you it will be worth it.
What really blows my mind is that when I finally decided to change and to start doing my own thing, my life was flooded with positives. Check it out:
- I signed up for a powerlifting meet and announced it on instagram.
- A local powerlifter saw it, got in touch, and I ended up meeting more powerlifter friends that fixed my technique and pushed me to break all sorts of PRs.
- The fun I had with them and the confidence they gave me led me to reach out and connect with some other lifters in my campus gym, and suddenly I had a new group of supportive and passionate friends.
- I also had three separate people reach out and tell me how proud they are of my accomplishments and positivity.
- I finally let go of those negative feelings from the summer, I’m learning to trust in myself and in others again, and I’m recognizing that I am stronger than I thought.
- And lastly – I freaking nailed it in a series of interviews and got a great job offer that I’ll probably be accepting quite soon.
I have so many people in my life care about and support me. I have so much light and love in my life, but I was always too scared to let it in. For the longest time, I thought I was damaged goods or something. I thought I attracted bad people into my life because I somehow deserved that negativity. Being in that dark place of my life was so painful, but it was all I knew.
It took all of my courage to step out of the darkness and into the light. But the light isn’t blinding, and it isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It’s warm, it’s a breath of fresh air, a good change of pace, and I’m finally letting it in.
It might be hard to believe at first, and of course you will have times when the darkness creeps in again – but it doesn’t have to consume you. Break that pattern. Let in the light. Let the positive things happening to you happen, because you do deserve them.
Anyways, that was a ramble and I just needed to remind myself of these lessons I am continually learning. I hope it helps someone out there, and as always – feel free to reach out. I support you, I believe in you, and I can’t wait to see the light that comes into your life…and the light you bring to others.
Okay…I’m gonna go cry now from happiness and relief. Love you all very much!