I have been struggling with this recently, this feeling of needing to be something else, someone else, to meet the expectations of others.
And yet, I also know that I need to become comfortable with owning who I am, what I am, how I live, and what I value.
What do I want to be?
What do I need to do to achieve that?
And then, what will I have?
This be-do-have approach was something my therapist (yes, therapist, I finally have a good one...) really emphasized at our last meeting. And it resonated so, so much with me.
I want to be happy. I want to be independent and strong again. I want to live my life without apology, with joy, seeking new experiences and the beauty in the everyday.
And I keep coming back to this awful thought - is this possible within my current relationship? This wasn't intended to be a "relationship blog" but it is foremost in my mind right now.
When I am constantly challenged by the person who is *supposed* to love me as I am, to accept me with all of the changes and challenges and frustrations... well, how can I then be who I am? How can I, as Nin says, find peace with exactly who and what I am? because I am working so, so hard on that. And then to be brought down by one offhand comment, or a series of them? That makes me think that I am not being loved as I am.
I've never read Anais Nin. Perhaps I should start. Next up on my "inspirational" reading list is an Anne Lamott book. I'm also working my way through Seneca's Letters to a Stoic. Short, overloaded missives full of wisdom, insight and ideas. Perhaps reading some Anais Nin will help me continue to broaden my perspective and think outside of my narrow little box.
Then again, Goodreads describes her as an "eroticist", so... perhaps not. :) I'm all for challenging myself, but maybe not to that extent, just yet!
A related quote to end on... from a wise friend:
Love doesn't have goals or benchmarks or blueprints, but does have a purpose. It is not the change the people we love, but rather to give them what they need to thrive. Alison Gopnik.