During one of my walks last week I listened to @brenebrown’s new podcast. She covered this topic and I wanted to share it with y’all. It really is fascinating to know how much influence our family of origin and the environment we were raised in has over how we respond to stress + anxiety in our adult lives.
Growing up in a household where drugs + alcohol was prevalent, where cops were called often, where appropriate communication + boundaries were non existent, it was easy for me to step into the role of over compensating. I got straight As, excelled in sports + realized very early on that I was needed more than I was appreciated. This wasn’t intentional of course, it sorta just happened by default. I loved my role; I felt safe + like I belonged. I fulfilled this role late into my twenties and it affected every relationship even when it was no longer asked of me. I didn’t know how to show up and not offer, not earn, not prove myself worthy. I began creating my own cycle of self sabotage. I was exhausted, resentful + bitter.
In my thirties I started working to no longer overcompensate. I still feel it arise, and I have to consciously choose to sit back, not rescue, not save, not advise, not fix. This doesn’t mean I can’t offer safe space for someone, extend empathy, or serve others. It simply means I no longer allow myself to be absorbed + lost in the noise or shame. I now trust that I am enough. Oh, and my favorite part? I can model this same enough-ness for my children.
If you have some time, I really recommend you take a listen to her podcast. She is one of my favorite humans. It may help you reflect + grow, especially in the wake of this challenging time. I do believe there is a gray area somewhere in the middle where we can give without losing ourselves AND learn to ask for help + take it without shrinking away in a shame spiral. It’s an ebb + flow within awareness. ✨