By. Caitlin Parsons
I spent nearly 20 years of my life trying to be everyone's hero, and in doing so, I completely forgot about myself. This is how I lived my life for many years until I finally made the decision to love myself... until I became my own hero and chose me above all.
I was always the kid in school who wanted to be in the back of the classroom. I didn't do this to disrupt the class, or to pick on other kids.. I liked it because there was less of a chance for me to have to answer the teacher's questions -- there was less of a chance for me to be seen.
I was the one who liked to be comfortable.
I was the one who tried to stay small.
I was the one who didn't want to speak up.
I was never told to act like this by my parents and I was never bullied in school, but I always liked the feeling of being safe and secure. I loved the feeling of staying in my comfort zone and doing what I knew how to do and what I did well.
I was scared of being seen and heard.
I was scared of rejection and failure.
I was scared of the unfolding and unraveling.
I was scared of being uniquely and authentically me--no bullshit.
Until one day I realized that for so many years I've been living my life to try and make others feel comfortable and happy and at the same time making myself inconvenienced, uncomfortable and often times unhappy.
I realized that I cared more about others than I did about myself.
I realized that in my innocent mission to love on others, I wasn't loving on myself.
I realized that how I treat myself opens the door for others to treat me the same way.
And so I committed to living the rest of my life learning to love myself through and through.
This wasn't an easy feat at first.
I started with baby steps--being more mindful of my thoughts, words, and actions towards myself. I noticed the constant desire to say things to make others feel comfortable even if it wasn't my truth. So I slowed down with the words that I spoke and I brought more intention into each conversation. I became more skillful in my interactions with myself and others. I'd write down the things that I loved about myself and speak them out loud - over and over again. I'd write down what I didn't love about myself and turn that around to make it a loving + kind sentence instead.
What I started to realize through all of this--I was never taught how to take care of myself, I was never told how important it is to become friends with myself--nevermind the importance of loving myself.
And when I look around at the women around me--so many of us were not taught this complex and integral piece of life. Because if we're not loving ourselves fully, how can we truly love our sisters and our brothers? And when you look around at our culture - it is filled with self-doubt, jealousy and hatred towards each other as opposed to love, kindness, and support.
It's time to turn inward for the love and support we need. It's time to connect to our own inner teacher and healer. It's time to share our truth - even if it isn't pretty.
As women, we need to speak our truth and it starts with learning to listen. We need to befriend our mind, body + soul--and it starts with learning how and from the example of others. We need to stand strong in our truth + power--and understand that when we do, we become the beacon and allow others to tune in, shine on and stand strong.
It's time to call on your sisters and your brothers.
It's time to love no matter the gender, color, shape or size.
It's time to come together and build each other up.
It's time to rise up, speak out and stand strong.
There's no better time than now,
And there's no one more perfect than you.
It's time to rise up, sisters.
Caitlin's passion is to create a space for curiosity and the unfolding. She is a teacher, student, nature lover, and adventurer at heart. She is a yoga therapist, wellness advocate, and space holder. Caitlin shares her passion for transformation through supporting her students in private sessions and an online program, The Embodiment Academy.