The TRUTH About Giving Yourself Emotional Support

A long while ago, I made a pretty big, radical change in my life. It required that I stop doing a few things I’d been doing so I could start focusing on a few new things that were much more meaningful.

I am not trying to be vague, but the details truly aren’t important.

What I want to share is this:  when I made this big change there were a few people who I had believed supported me unconditionally, but who were not able to roll with the changes.

Sadly, these relationships came to an end.  

And, of course, it hurt.  It even made me question whether or not I really wanted what was on the other side of this change.

But there was a BIG, JUICY, GIANT blessing of a lesson waiting for me. And it wasn’t one that I had expected.

It wasn’t about letting go of relationships that no longer serve me, or even accepting the fact that people have their own ‘stuff’. Those are great lessons, too.

This one was far better.

Recently, a Shrink Session client shared that she was enrolled in a supervised behavioral weight loss program (good for her). When she shared with her group that she had moved out of the obese range after losing 40 lbs (AMAZING!), her group members snickered and scowled.

Not a single high five.

The very group that was designed to support her transformation was unable to truly walk with her through the transformation that they supposedly supported.

Painful. Devastating, in fact.

You get the picture here, right? Perhaps you can relate.

You are finally ready to become the beautiful butterfly you have always known you were. Settling for feeling like crap is no longer an option.

You begin to change. You find some happiness (in your body, your job, your love life) and to your surprise, the comrades who were encouraging you to get off your butt and “do something” would now prefer that you sit your butt back down.

It ain’t easy.

And it’s confusing.  Because how can someone love you one minute, but the minute you are ready to become a better version of yourself, they are not so sure?!

If you are in the process of becoming a butterfly and there are still some people who would like for you to stay a caterpillar: I want you to listen closely.

This is something I learned first-hand.

The first thing I want you to do is set up some SUPER clear boundaries. For yourself.

Someone you love treating you badly because you are becoming more of what you are meant to be?  Simply not acceptable.

It’s cruel. And this might be a bit of an extreme stance, but I would go so far as to say that it’s abusive. It’s gross mistreatment.

Now, this does not give you an excuse to blare your “I am a victim!” alarm. On the contrary.

When you are undergoing transformation, your heart is still tender. Your confidence muscles are not fully formed.

When someone swoops in and gives you a look of disapproval during this time, you are not yet in a position to just let it roll off your back. More likely, this disapproving look can send you to the kitchen for a late night binge.

It can make you feel so guilty and so bad that you are tempted to crawl your way back into the cocoon, despite it being far too tiny for your big, beautiful energy.

Do not crawl back. Stand your ground!

There is nothing wrong with you. You are not overly sensitive.

You are smack dab in the middle of a transformation, and for gosh sakes you need support.

You need unwavering, unconditional, “I’m not going anywhere” kind of love during this time. And you deserve it.

But you must decide this for yourself. You must stand firmly in your power and say that this kind of unloving behavior is NOT acceptable.

It doesn’t mean you don’t love these people. You can love them while standing strong in your sense of self, while being clear with what you need right now.

You are allowed to draw very clear boundaries when you are trying to accomplish something great. Capisce?

Now here is where the BIG, JUICY, GIANT blessing of a lesson comes in.

The experience of NOT being supported when you need it most is TRULY an opportunity for you to grow your OWN UNWAVERING support for yourself. 

It’s a chance to have a profound conversation that takes place between YOU and LIFE. It’s as if you are saying, “Hey, I want to change, I am willing to do the work.”

And Life is looking back at you saying, “Look. I am going to love you no matter what. BUT, realize that there are going to be some people who aren’t going to like this. You will have to be stronger than you think in order to do it. Are you sure?”

And this is your chance to respond, “Yes. I mean it. I am committed. To me. To my health. To my heart. To my life. No matter what. I am willing to shine. I am willing to grow. I trust that you will guide me to the right people and relationships.  I trust you to support me on my path.”

It’s a powerful conversation. And YOU are the only one who can have it with yourself. This conversation between you and LIFE is the VERY conversation that will set your little cocoon on fire.

It will start a spinning, turning, and swirling motion in your heart. You will begin to twist and twirl over and over and over again. You will learn how to give yourself that unwavering support you SO deserve.

And the only result of this radical kind of self-love is that transformation you are longing for.

Before you know it, not only will the world reflect this support back to you in the form of people, relationships, opportunities and fulfillment, but you will have emerged as the beautiful butterfly you always knew you were.

But for goodness sake!  Don’t glaze over this opportunity to give YOURSELF unwavering support, my dear.

It’s the kind of support that will help you to fly.

I would love to hear from you below.  Are you in a position where you need to give yourself the support? Leave a comment below and share your story.

Xo
Erin

P.S. If you have a friend going through a transition right now, please go ahead and forward this along. You might just make someones day!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See the Comments

63 Responses to The TRUTH About Giving Yourself Emotional Support

  1. Suze says:

    Thanks for this Erin. I haven’t experienced this phenomenon much but do get regular appearances of the Tag-a-Long Sisters: Fear and Doubt. Even now they are telling me the reason I haven’t experienced it is because I’ve never SUCCEEDED! Where are the Truth Tellers? How do I get rid of the Tag-a-Longs?

  2. Betsy says:

    Boy did this resonate with me. I started or I guess re-started my journey in January 2014. I lost over 30lbs and have continued to evolve my fitness journey with new goals. A few months ago I went away for a weekend with friends. People that have been my closest friends for years. What was interesting was myself and 2 others that were focusing on health became targets of mocking and side jokes. Some of it was based on a misunderstanding but the majority of it was I feel discomfort with the progress I had made as well as my other friends. It just blew me away. I was teased when I was young and overweight and now teased because I looked and felt great and was achieving goals I guess they could only dream of. It definitely cost me a friendship or two. I’ve distanced myself from those that weren’t supportive and continue to focus on my goals and put my attention to those that are loving and supportive of my goals. To me health is something to be cheered but yet as you wrote often it is not. The one major thing I’ve gained is not only physical strength but internal strength for seeing how I’ve been able to make changes myself. When it comes down to it our health is our journey and based on our choices and being able to stick with it and make those changes is something to be cheered and celebrated.

  3. Harmony says:

    Thank you Erin. I needed to hear that today.

  4. Jennifer says:

    So true!!! Beautiful!! Thank you for writing so much positives words!!

  5. Kelly says:

    Oh yeah did this resonate! My situation exactly, only the person not giving support – my own father. Very sad indeed and yes, I’d say it was cruel and abusive. One of the toughest lessons of my life! However, I am a butterfly…

  6. Nadia Hosko says:

    Gosh this is so beautifully written and packed with wisdom. If other people don’t support and love you – support and love yourself. (And find people who do) It’s so amazing to realize that deep care and tender love are needed in the process of unfolding and becoming a bigger light – that it requires that kind of love from the ones around us. I love it when you say: “You are not overly sensitive” – words that hit my heart! Thank you Erin <3

  7. As a post op weight loss surgery patient of almost 9 years, I can identify with this post so much. I lost almost 200lbs and you would think I would have gained confidence and a new life. What I gained, was awkward friendships, downright hostile at time family members, too much attention for the weight loss but in non supportive ways, and a disconnect with the number and the process that caused me to start regaining weight. Of course I blamed myself, I scared myself, I berated myself, all the way up to 50 lbs of regain. The shame was unbearable. What I have learned and now help my clients with is that there was so much more going on. Fear of being visible, fear of losing these relationships even if they were not supportive. I had an inability to feel safe as exposed as I was, so I went backwards. I wish I had known then that was what I was doing. I wish that I had had the insight and support that I have gained in learning tapping, and in using your Shrink Sessions. I no longer view exercise as punishment, I now see that I need clear boundaries to protect this emerging butterfly. I lost it before I can lose it again, and I am and this time with the right support and mindset. Thank you so much

    • Mary Ayers says:

      What a beautiful and soulful response, Nicole. Your understanding of what was happening to you and recognizing the fear that was coming up is the first step to our transformation. Couple that recognition, that acknowledgement, with forgiveness and you have the tools you need to chip away at the old shell and emerge in your light. Wishing you the best!

  8. Carly says:

    Thanks Erin- theres nothing I needed to hear more than this!! I left a stressful 9-5 job a year ago to follow my creative dreams, and recently caught up with an old colleague. He told me how much of a mess and how ‘terrible’ I looked – in other words, I’m now rocking the boho artist look instead of clean cut corporate. At the time, it hurt like hell..but this post has given new clarity x

  9. Meredith says:

    Yea…. it resonates. And it is sort of tough love – that I really can’t use lack of support as an excuse – because that will only hold me back. I need to be who I am and not worry so much about the people who are not fighting my battle with me.

  10. JP says:

    Perfect timing for this AWESOME reminder. Always grateful for your words. xoxo jp

  11. Priscilla says:

    This article really hit home for me. Thank you!

  12. Nancy says:

    So true! I had a long friendship with someone a while back that ended in a bad way because I didn’t know how. This friendship became progressively worse as this friends problems grew. She became more demanding and I was shrinking but not in a good way. Long story short my husband stepped in and the friendship ended in an ugly way but the relief I felt was astounding. I finally felt free and didn’t know how bad I felt till it was over. I will no longer tolerate becoming less because someone needs more. A hard but invaluable lesson.

    • Rocio says:

      Wow Nancy, I’d been feeling bad about how my friendship with who I thought was a best friend ended too. The more time passes the better I feel of myself. I had to break ties for my own moral standards and it has been a snowball affect of positive and uplifting self respect. Not to mention empowering. All though it is difficult. Progress is necessary and many a times these relationships are just holding us back from being better and having something better. It is most definitely a hard but invaluable lesson. It may be difficult a times but we must be positive and see that we are blessed with the people we need at the moment we need them. Then those too may trickle off as we don’t need them. Sounds a little harsh, but I’ve noticed this to be true each and every time. Progress is inevitable for those that thrive in it. For all those others god bless them to find their way if they ever.

  13. Tosha says:

    Erin, you are amazing!!!!! How did you know that I needed that so deeply in my soul???? I am a 48 year old soul-centered holistic health coach in need of a personal “self love re-brand”! I am going to apply the grit and focus it will take to change my body and rebirth it into my best self ever. I will learn to lean on myself for the lifeline of support to get there! Thank you for the inspiring truth bomb that I so needed to hear. You are a beautiful and loving soul! XOXO

  14. Lynn says:

    Thanks So much!!!! Funny we are so unaware that we are all shared experiences. This is confirmation. I originally skimmed through the message but then I saw these words in bold:

    Do not crawl back. Stand your ground.

    There is nothing wrong with you. You are not overly sensitive.
    You are smack dab in the middle of a transformation and for gosh sakes and you need support.

    You need unwavering, unconditional, I’m not going anywhere kind of love during this time. And you deserve it.

    But you must decide that THIS for yourself. You must stand firmly in your power and say this kind of unloving behavior is NOT acceptable.

    These words drew me in and I read this message form top to bottom. And I saw myself from top to bottom. Thank you for answering “your” call.

  15. Jamie says:

    Once again Erin, I love this, and it’s so true. I started to change the way that I had always related to a certain member of my family. I saw that there was a pattern of sin in our relationship (20 years of it). The Lord showed me this. I realized that it was not loving to continue on in this pattern. It felt like an emotional battlefield. God calls us to love others, but love has both a tenderness and a strength to it. The reason why I had struggled for almost 20 years with this relationship is because it was very passive aggressive and inconsistent. I often times felt like I was going crazy. I now realize that this person is always going to struggle with me unless she finds healing. I can not heal her wounds, nor am I to try to. It has been so freeing! It’s still hard because the digs still come. I’ve learned not to respond at all unless asked for a response. I call this “loving from a distance “. My nature is to be close with everyone. I tend to be a people pleaser. God has used the difficulties in this relationship to teach me so incredibly much and for that I am grateful. When you begin to change the way you have always related to people, they tend to not like it. I’m changing the dynamics in my family and it’s so freeing. God is good! ❤

  16. Alessandra says:

    Dear Erin, good afternoon! Thank you for today’s post highlighting a very important lesson for me. I am not a beautiful butterfly yet, but I feel I am adding new colours to my wings every single day. The Shrink Session workout being the perfect tool to develop my awareness and focus. I am not experiencing any sabotage from my dear network of souls yet. I am the one sabotaging myself: I do not manifest the new power I feel as I fear I might scare my dear ones and that they might not be happy with the ” new ” me. Thank you for your inspiring post, teaching me I should not fear when I am supporting myself and taking care of my life. I know I have to work on this and that the path to the target is a long one … anyhow, awareness is a good starting point though! Being aware I have to take action, is a very important point. Take good care !!! Thank you !!!

  17. Rebecca says:

    I am my own most unsupportive friend. I self-sabotage and fail to prioritize my fitness. I find myself often repeating the affirmation “I deserve fitness” but it sometimes does not seem to resonate as loud as “you have other things you have to get done.” When this is combined with bad choices of food, they why bother attitude gets the best of me. I need to come to a “living healthy is fun” or “I enjoy being healthy.”

    • Mary Ayers says:

      I hear you on this one, sister. I have been my own best/worst enemy for years. I have found that a supportive friend can help me when I want to talk myself out of my plan. But this requires me being vulnerable enough to ask for help, to put myself out there as needing the support. I did a little soul searching and discovered that the pain I would experience from not embracing these healthy lifestyle changes was far, far worse than actually doing the exercises. I found that by reflecting how I felt after I exercised helped me to see just how much better I felt when I did follow through. The more I did that the more I started stepping out of my own way and following through on my plans. Asking someone to help keep me accountable to my plans was one of the keys to my feeling successful. Is there someone you can ask for support? Perhaps someone in the Shrink Session Facebook group? Here for you if you need it. 🙂

  18. Judy says:

    Wow did I need this today! I have been IN it for a while now. I am currently shooting a documentary on deep change work and total healing. I have shifted so much that my old story no longer fits and that has begun to include several people in my immediate world. I is scarey as hell to wake up to but those dirty looks and the “sarcastic” put downs…aren’t mine they are hers! I don’t except that behavior anymore. So, todays blog is especially personal for me today and I am so grateful! It did send me under the covers- to a movie and it did send me into a bag of chocolate which didn’t help…your words do. Your words are a reminder that our personal journey is ours alone and that we can not change anyone elses chosen path, they have to choose for themselves and that may mean, divorce or ending relationships that keep us down. I do feel like with support I can fly…I said that yeaterday, so I loved reading your words saying it again today, reinforcing it! Thanks sister!! Big love and light to you! Xo

  19. Doug says:

    Erin, When I started down this path 3 years ago my wife told me that she didn’t know who I was anymore. I explained to her that I wanted to get healthy for her and my grandkids ( we have 10 ). She has embraced this change and now she is also getting healthy. It wasn’t easy at first as a lot of people kept asking me if I was all right. I am now addicted to working out and eating healthy. The biggest change that you can do is to eat healthy and cut out sugar. My wife likes to joke that 3 years ago I didn’t know what a calorie was and now I read the labels for healthier products. Thank You for this timely article.

    Doug

  20. Lynn says:

    Thank you for this post. I cried reading it because it resonates so incredibly deeply with me. I asked (begged) the universe for a sign today and your blog was it. Thank you. Thank you. A million times, thank you.

  21. Julie says:

    Thank you for this message, Erin. It’s exactly what I needed today – not for me, but for a young 12-year-old girl who came to me today, asking what you do when you’re only good at a few things that nobody seems to care about. I couldn’t believe how much I related to her and saw my own 12-year-old self in her. Your message is exactly what I want to tell her. Thank you for giving me the words.

  22. Molly says:

    Thank you Erin for this message. This is a lesson that I really need reminding of. You have to be our own biggest fan when you start something new, because the people who know you might not recognize you or understand why you want a change.

    It can be lonely at first, but it gets better.

    I thought that I wanted to be an actress until a dance related knee problem led me to discover physical therapy. I became passionate about pursuing a new career, but to even apply to graduate school, I had to take an additional 2 years of classes beyond my bachelors.

    People around me thought I was crazy for taking on such a huge burden. They couldn’t understand why I decided to go back to school, just to apply to another school They thought I should do something easier, cheaper. While the rest of my friends started getting engaged and enjoying their late twenties, I worked two jobs while taking chemistry, anatomy, physics and more.

    Flash forward to two years later. I have been accepted to my top choice graduate program. I aced the GRE and I have a 4.0 average. I have lost some connections to people who didn’t want to support me as I worked hard, or people whose lifestyle no longer meshed with my own. I have had to make some hard decisions and it is amazing to see how some people celebrate your success, and others try to play it down.

    I now have a man in my life who is 110% supportive of me. I am making new friends who are wowed by my progress. I have always felt like a late bloomer, but I think the best parts of life are just getting started!!!

  23. Viola says:

    You are spot on Erin. So true! Thank you I needed this today. We all have struggles but being positive is so helpful to get through it

  24. Marianne says:

    This happens with my family. Thank you for this wonderful and loving, supportive post. <3

  25. Dakota Mackey says:

    Erin,
    This was the perfect thing to hear today! A friend and I were just talking about this kind of change and then today she sent me a message saying “have you read Erin’s post!” I completely agree! We all deserve to be the butterfly’s we wish to be and our support is out there but sometimes we have to go through a shedding of skin to get there. Thank you!

  26. Jacky Cook says:

    So true. After recently not seeing some of my friends I’ve had for twenty years ( and saw weekly), I met them all for supper. I had lost 30 pounds in 3 months and yet not one friend said anything. I was hurt beyond measure and can’t think of them as friends any longer.

  27. Jessica says:

    Hiya Erin,

    Thanks you a lot for this new message. I’ve been through that at the beginning. I have learnt thanks to my readings and websites (advocating positivity and love) how to love myself, my image and every cells of my own body and do it for me. Unfortunately, loosing people you thought would be there for you, is still something I’m finding hard but now, I know that it’s not because of me or it’s not my fault but it’s them. So I accept it now and give gratitude that helps me to keep on going.
    So thank you again for that wonderful message Erin.

  28. Stephanie says:

    Hi Erin,

    I love the shrink session workouts and have been trying out some of your recipes from summer camp too! Thank you! Very inspiring!

    This post also resonated with me and it’s very appropriate right now. It’s funny how I know in my head that a comment here and there from someone who is not supportive should not send me reeling but is DOES from time to time. And I have to sit myself down and have a little heart to heart to get back to my true intentions and not let things get me down. It’s tough! And then things like your email in my inbox come along and help lift me up. Thank you! I love your work!

  29. Your beautiful post made my heart swelled with emotion and vulnerability. I forwarded your message to several friends who need it the most. You spoke the truth in it 🙂

    Lots of Love,
    Priyanka

  30. Carolanne says:

    This is an AMAZING lesson to learn…

    I learned it at age 37… It took the birth of my son
    For me to be willing to stand up for myself.
    I was raised by wonderful parents, who instilled
    In me great work ethic and values… But they stink
    At letting their children become adults. They needed
    To control all aspects of my life.

    When I experienced success, it was minimized.
    They could not share in my joy. I had been advised
    By therapist to severe ties for years… I just could
    Not do it- the dutiful sense of being their daughter
    And decades of their imprinted expecations were
    Too much to overcome on my own.

    The birth of my son and a protective husband gave me
    The strength to set those clear boundaries. Not all relationships are healthy. My boundaries were not respected and I stepped back from the relationship. I didn’t fall apart and crumble- our joys are shared with those who loves us and can celebrate them too.
    There is no drama, anger or negativity. And
    Life is GOOD. I wish that I could have done it for
    Myself alone, at a younger age. It would have saved me some unnecessary heartaches, but I wasn’t ready. I am grateful that I learned this lesson. I value myself and my peace, my joy- I honor it. I share it with others.

    Recently, I have opened the lines of communication with VERY CLEAR Boundaries. We are taking small steps. Trust must be rebuilt. But I feel good about myself and my family. I will not allow someone else to halt me on my path to becoming the person that I am meant to be;)

    • Cristina says:

      Wow, reading your comment was like reading my life story, thank you for writing this comment, I wish I had you as a friend so we could discuss further!! Congratulations on being able to set clear boundaries and being your number one fan!

  31. Sunniva says:

    Hi beautiful, inspiring Erin! Every time I see a new mail from you in my inbox, I get so excited cause I know I will learn something wise.

    I needed this SO much right now. I’m getting quite good at giving myself the support I need, even when I feel people I love is doubting me..

    Reading this lifted me up so high, and I’m so ready to give it all I got. For myself!!

  32. conny says:

    thank you Erin
    “In this moment…NOW… I choose to take time, to invest in myself, to believe in myself, to create the life I most want and deserve”

  33. Colby says:

    Erin can I just say I love your heart, thank you so much for caring about people!! I have and still am continuing to go through what you spoke of, life growth. Sometimes people don’t understand, but those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter!! Personal growth is one of the most beautiful things and life and I’m glad you are giving us a platform to learn, grow, and express ourselves!! Xoxo

  34. Steph says:

    This post just filled my heart with joy. I am fortunate to have wonderful people in my life who love me and support me the best they can, but they have a lot of fear inside them and it comes out energetically as doubt (or “concern”, or veiled judgment). I’ve been thinking about how much I so deeply desire a cheerleader who can hold the vision for me and be my unconditional support and certainty. And then I had a talk with a coach just the other day who was all of those things, and I realized that she was simply holding up a mirror to my highest self. So why not just drop my own doubts and fears and BE the one I’ve been looking for all this time?

    It is so true that when we are confronted with treatment that we don’t like from other people, it’s actually a window into how we are treating ourselves.

    • Stephanie says:

      It comes out as doubt or concern or veiled judgement. Here, here, Steph! Could not have said it better myself. Thank you.

  35. Andreja says:

    Thank you, Erin!

    Just what I needed. As I go through a transformation your message has occurred just in time.
    I love you and I love your work.

  36. Kasia says:

    Thank you Erin for this post. I am in a transition right now and I am so afraid I will not have any friends and people who’ll support me. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming it’s hard to give myself this support. I feel I really would like to talk to Life and ask for a supporting people to show up on my way 🙂 This is my intention for the following days 🙂

  37. Cristina says:

    Thank you Erin, you are wise beyond your earth years and I want to thank you for spreading your wisdom!

  38. Cathie Daley says:

    Thanks so much, just what I needed as I try to move forward and get myself back in shape and accept the fact that people move in and out of your life. It’s hurts when you are no longer a priority for some.

  39. Clair says:

    Yes! Was having this conversation only yesterday, the ‘transition’ zone of what to do, where to go once you have put the work in of ‘detoxing’ things/people/lifestyles that do not serve your highest, the ‘mind the gap’ part before stepping into the new life you have committed to, during this ‘gap’ I think it is soo important to remember that supporting and loving the self is priority at this stage of transformation, as that is why we took this decision in the first place! so thank you for this beautiful blog post Erin:)

  40. Mildred says:

    Your emails always seem to come at the right time. Am undergoing many changes in my life & I am always shocked how u hit the nail on the head. I always feel validated & energized to keep the faith.

  41. hilde denys says:

    Thank you so much. Your mail comes at just the right time. I have 2 issues that i need to stand my ground; now I feel like somebody is backing me up, is behind me and I feel a lot more powerfull and able to go on with my issues. I”ll read your mail every day so I won’t forget and I will stand my ground!

  42. Mary Ayers says:

    Love this post, Erin! Thank you for sharing this important message with all of us. Transitions can be hard but being vulnerable with yourself and loving yourself no matter what can make all the difference. Thank you for spreading this message.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Thank you. The person who is not on board with the changes I am making is my inner critic! That, and just so much sadness going on the world. It found me at the cheese counter yesterday at the HEB (instead of going for a run). I needed this information. Thanks again. Have a great weekend.

  44. Chris says:

    This was just what I needed to hear. Thank you so much!!

  45. Eirwen Morris says:

    Erin, you have hit the nail on the head!, so to speak. I have to say your blogs are so uplifting and I’m so glad I’m not alone. Thank you for being so honest.

  46. Chris says:

    Forgot to mention I read it twice.

  47. Belinda says:

    Thank you for sharing, I need constant reminding of this. I hope we can create a generation that just knows how to do this.

  48. Hanne Marie says:

    Just simply : Thank you for this! Everything I needed to hear. HM

  49. Robyn says:

    Dear Erin!
    Thank you so much for this insighful and motivating post – it came to me at just the right time when I needed to hear it the most. I recently quit my job because I knew I was destined for something more in line with who I am and the people I encountered there seemed stuck in negative, shallow patterns that I desperately wanted to escape. Even though it started out okay enough and I usually always see the best in people, it soon became clear that colleagues are just that- collagues, and not necessarily your friends. After trusting them with too much personal information (which they encouraged) and speaking up whenever I felt personally disappointed in them, I only wound up being chastised and humiliated for it. I decided I had enough. I wanted to get away from all the personal drama, disappointments, and insults they were throwing at me behind my back and sometimes even in person. Yet, I found that, instead of speaking up for myself gracefully and putting them in their place immediately, thereby building some necessary BOUNDARIES between them and myself (basically saying, “okay, till here and no further”), I LET them make me smaller, because deep down I believed that I deserved it and that I wasn’t good enough (an illusion my subconscious had been buying into since my childhood days just because I was sensitive and therefore different from others). And the one friend I trusted to be there for me and defend me didn’t move a muscle. That was when I decided that life doesn’t want you to let others rescue you without you being strong enough to rescue yourself first. If I don’t want to do it, why should others, right? It was time I cleared out my subconscious and freed it from any dusty beliefs that were no longer serving me. I do trust people and see the best in everyone, but I realized that I do not want it at the cost of them making me give up or question the worth of who I really am. And I realized it is all my responsibility. My superior was disappointed in me as well for “letting her down”, but I am quite content that I did the best I could in my job even though it was a) not what gave me great satisfaction and joy on a daily basis and b) very challenging with all the personal drama interfering with the actual work. It is enough for me to be content with what I had been doing and if others are disappointed in me for that, then I need to leave. Nowadays there are far too many jobs where empathy, caring, creativity, humor, deeper insights and reflection are not the modus operandi, but I am convinced that work is not just about numbers or accounts (I worked in a hotel)and that my spiritual and personal journey is equal to my career development, which in this case could not be continued there anyway because I was felt stuck.
    So thank you for reflecting back at me what my life has already led me to many times – that I need to find my own strength to burst free of that cocoon and that I need no one else to help me with it. It’d be worse if they did for my wings wouldn’t be strong enough… <3

  50. Laurence says:

    Thank you so much for this post, I needed that. I’ve been thru a really hard break-up because of the reasons you just said without even knowing and I really thought i was the problem, but in reality he wasn’t probably prepared for me to become a better version of myself.
    Thank you again, you made my week!

  51. Akanksha says:

    Wow! My friend Uttara emailed this to me and i’m usually not someone that bothers reading blogs but THIS i must say was exactly what i needed to read! You restore my faith in shrinks and getting therapy! Absolute masterpiece!! Please do this world a favor and write a book! Much love from India x

  52. Sheryl says:

    I’m in the process of trying to build my own business so that I can have meaningful work and ultimately have time for the people I love. Taking risks isn’t very shined upon by my family, but I can’t let my family or bewildered friends make choices for me. Only I know what can make me happy. Do I feel vulnerable? Sure do, but I had a boss that told me, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I see so many opportunities for you to be working for yourself.” I’m going to take her advice.

  53. Trish says:

    Such wise words Erin! It was as if the article was written about my experience except mine was not a weight loss journey but a self love journey so I did not accept being treated badly.

    I loved the line “You are finally ready to become the beautiful butterfly you have always known you were. Settling for feeling like crap is no longer an option.” I made a transformation a while back. Learning to set boundaries was the best thing I have ever done in case this inspires anyone else to give it a try.

  54. Josy says:

    Wow ! What a reminder ! Made me realize that I can be supportive of me ! PLUS, I do not want to become the unsupportive people of the group…dear people around me need my encouragements for every step(big or small) that they make ! Thanx you for taking out of my head !

  55. Lyndi says:

    I don’t what I am anymore iv been through so much with no support that I can’t feel anything any more I’m up against a country that never do the right thing & my daughters are exusted from it all
    I have to find money from nothing & provide my own shelter iv no family support I’m good at some things & iv work hard & lost it all time & time again
    I’m not going become the monsters that my parents & country are I refuse to & I have to support my sisters son who has been a bit of a monster
    I’m an artist designer & design engineer I have never been allowed to be but I am going to try to make my life work

    • Aysha says:

      Where abouts are you, I hope you are ok it sounds like you have a lot to cope with. I thought I would reply to let you know that somewhere across the world I’m thinking of you. I hope at this point you are moving in the direction you need for yourself to be free, all the very best.

  56. Aysha says:

    Hello there, here in country Australia.
    Erin I have a question to yourself and anyone there.
    I went through or began to go through this 4 years ago and when I did I felt like all the defensive parts I’d constructed to keep safe started to peel away however with the sense of joy and love returned some memories which rocked me in a significant way and terrorised me. At this point I was extremely vulnerable and sort help. I believed I would be met with people that would see things from the angle I was having a transition however I was told something was really wrong and you don’t just go and make huge life decisions on the spur (like leaving your husband) I then questioned whether or not all of what I was feeling was an indication of real inner wisdom or the symptom of a breakdown of sorts…
    I’ve read on several blogs that a spiritual awakening some call it or transition etc can resemble someone ‘losing their mind’ how do we know if these transitions and spiritual awakenings are what they are and need to be acted upon or if at the time we should listen to those who are unsupportive of the change especially when we haven’t been our true selves for a long time how do we know what’s really goi g on ? Thanks Aysha

  57. Sarah Clarke says:

    I am in a religious marriage and my husband is on the Autism Spectrum. He was diagnosed the same time our daughter was. Ive become more like his mum than his wife. He works hard for us and pays our bills but he admits he cannot give me the emotional love and support I desperately need. My aunt passed away and he wasn’t wanting to be my shoulder to cry on. I line up his clothes for work every day, items have to be in their certain place and I cook, clean and look after my special needs daughter without his support.
    Thank you for this insightful blog, I realise I need to step up and support myself and do what I need to do for me. This advice is exactly what I needed to hear. I can’t leave my marriage or my family will cut me off. Im sticking around for my daughter because of her severe autism. I will support my husband but I have no romantic feelings for him, now he’s made it clear I don’t have his support beyond the financial. Sex is just sex and im slowly drifting away from him.