5 min read
I know I have said this before. And it seems like I keep saying this to myself. But what if I would let go? What if I stopped trying? What if I just did what lights me up? What is the worst thing that could happen?
I’m going to share with you what I wrote down in a stream of consciousness. Edited only slightly so you don’t get bogged down in the repetitions.
What is the worst thing that could happen?
“That I would have no success. How is that different from what life is now? Why is success that important to you anyway? Why do you want to succeed so much? Why do you believe success will give you a sense of satisfaction? What is it about success that resonates with you? I don’t know honestly. I don’t know why success is so important to me. I wish I did. Really. It would make life so much easier if I could just let go of this idea of having to be successful. Is it about success? What do I associate success with? What would success bring me? Success would bring me independence. Success would bring me choices. Success would allow me to do with my life what I want to do. Success equals freedom. Why is freedom so important to me? Freedom means that I can choose my own path. Freedom means I can go as I please. Freedom means I am free to go. Freedom means I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. Freedom means I have no pain. Freedom means I’m not being held against my will. Freedom means I’m not being hurt. Freedom means I’m happy. Freedom means I’m not being abused. Success means I got out. Success means I freed myself. Success means I’m no longer being abused. Success means I’m free to go wherever I want. Success means I’m free to do whatever I want. Success means I’m free to be me. Being unsuccessful means that I’m trapped, unfree, that I’m being forced, that I cannot be me, that I’m being abused, that I cannot leave, that I cannot express myself as I am, that I cannot be me, that I cannot play, that I cannot have fun, that I’m not good enough, that I’m not allowed to get what I need, that I”m not allowed to get what I want, that I’m not allowed to do what I need, that I’m not allowed to do what I want, that I’m not allowed to go as I please, that I need to obey, that I need to follow other people’s lead, that I need to do as they please, that I need to do as he pleases.”
Some answers you just don’t see coming. I could have never arrived at this answer with my logical mind, that is for sure. To the abused child in me success is having found a way to free herself, to get out and not be abused. As long as that part of me believes that I am still in that room, unable to get out without the permission of my abuser, I will feel like I’ve failed.
This courageous and resilient girl, I need her to know that she is not a massive failure. If anything, she is the embodiment of what true success looks like. She not only survived, she did so with grace. She was able to safeguard all the qualities that truly matter, love and kindness. And above all, she inspired me to thrive. Without her, I would not be half the woman I am today.
I need her to know how proud I am of her. I want her to understand that she coped extremely well. I want her to see that she did the best she could in very challenging circumstances. I want her to feel proud of how she even managed to protect her innocence, her gentleness.
But most of all, I want her to understand that even though she did not manage to escape physically, she is allowed to leave that room emotionally and mentally. Her abuser projected his failure on her, but she has the right to not accept that burden. She is allowed to say ‘No!’, to get up and leave. She is allowed to leave him there. Just like that. She has the right to be free.
We all have prisons in our mind. Mine just happened to be very literal. I hope my story inspires you to look within and find the experiences that made you believe that you can only go so far, and when you do, to take your power back and do whatever the fuck you want with it. Your life is yours to live. Live!
If this resonated with you, then consider sharing it with someone who will love it too or could use it in their lives right now. And while you’re in the flow, you may want to subscribe to my newsletter as well. Biweekly, I will send you a letter, called three.word.wednesday. My intention, to inspire and inform. Don’t worry, I won’t spam you. Scout’s honor.
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illustration by me