Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Choose You
By Teresia  Smith

Remember a few years ago when Frozen was the most popular kids movie and every little girl knew all the words to the song “Let it Go” and you could hear them singing it everywhere over and over? Have you ever actually read the lyrics and wondered what was being let go?
Here’s an excerpt of some of the lyrics:
“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried. Don’t let them in, don’t let them see; Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know”. ““It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small. And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all”. ““And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast. I’m never going back, the past is in the past”. ““Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore.

Let it go, let it go. Turn away and slam the door. I don’t care what they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway”.
Sounds like Elsa spent a lot of time trying to be what she thought others expected her to be and not herself. Probably spent a lot of her life belittling herself, never feeling she measured up to expectations, never enough. She pretended to be the “good girl” she thought she had to be, less sensitive, fitting into others’ molds. However, once she allowed herself to face her feelings, she was able to distance herself from those expectations and her fear no longer controlled her and she vowed to never go back to that way of feeling. So she declared she would let it go…. And stop worrying about what others said about her. What a refreshing way to live!

If you have ever been in an unhealthy, controlling relationship, you too know the weight of having to constantly mold yourself to fit into someone else’s expectations. Sure there are some good times in the relationship, but often you hide behind your fake smile as you realize that you have betrayed yourself to please someone else. The abusive person makes you feel like you are flawed, needy, overly sensitive, and by gas lighting you, that it is entirely your fault. They make you feel like if only you would make changes, everything would be great. And the love you feel for them is real and powerful, and you ache for them to see you as worthy and love you back.

Often, there comes a point in these unhealthy relationships where you realize that you can’t continue. That time may come after a violent encounter, a constant period of arguments, or maybe after living this way for years, you just realize you can’t take the belittling, heartache, and fear anymore and you recognize that no matter what changes you decide to make, it will never be enough and they will never be pleased. This is when many make the choice to reclaim their life.

Marc & Angel Chernoff explain that process, “This is when you now realize you have to start doing things for the right reasons. Not because it’s what you think everyone else needs, but because you finally know yourself to be worthy of your own love and care. Not because other people approve of you, but because you are breathing your own air, thinking your own thoughts, and occupying a space no one else ever could. Yes, you are indeed worthy! Your ideas are worthy. Your feelings are worthy. Your needs are worthy. And without everyone else’s constant validation, you must be who you are and live your truth. Even if it makes people turn their heads. Even if it means walking alone down the path less traveled for a while. Even if your confidence in yourself has been shaken!”

Marc and Angel go on to remind us that the real battle is within. “The real battle is always in your mind. And your mind is under your control, not the other way around. You may have been broken down by adversity or rejection or stress, but YOU are not broken. So don’t let others convince you otherwise. And don’t let your mind get the best of you either. Heal yourself by refusing to belittle yourself. Choose to take up a lot of positive space in your own life today. Choose to give yourself permission to meet your own needs. Choose to honor your feelings and emotions. Choose to make self-love and self-care a part of your daily rituals… Choose to think better about yourself, so you can live better in spite of the challenges you face.”

Part of the healing process is sorting out and managing our feelings. Having a safe place with unbiased, trained crisis counselors can play a huge part in your healing. Crisis Services of North Alabama offers survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence those things along with other services that are free and confidential. You may reach our Jackson County Office at 256.574.5826 for an appointment. We also offer a 24/7 HELPline where you can reach a trained crisis counselor at 256.716.1000. We hope you choose YOU and we’re here to help.

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