if you follow me on instagram (um, if you don’t you should. I’m so cool. 😉 ), you might know that one of my fave hashtags is #girlswhobreathefire.
the powerhouse of fire-breathing woman that is Glennon Doyle Melton gets it SO RIGHT in her new book Love Warrior (guys, I read half of that book in ONE DAY it is just so good.), and I almost burst into tears when I happened upon this on pinterest:
see, I think a lot of us walk away from interactions with people where something just felt “off”, and often our reaction is this “was I not enough for them? am I not enough?”. my girl Shelby (read her blog here) cleared it up for me big-time.
it isn’t that you weren’t enough, sweet friend. it isn’t that you were “less than“. it’s that you were “more than”. you reached into a place with your words or actions where you began to take up your space, and they weren’t ready for it. they weren’t sure what to do with the depth of you.
and that’s okay.
for some of us, this whole idea of taking up space… and taking back our space!… is super super scary. for some of us, the image of YOU being powerful enough and secure enough and full of voice enough to (metaphorically) breathe fire is one that is so far off and distant that we wonder if it’s really even possible.
some of us have been living in the bondage of smallness and shrinkage for so long that it feels as though we will never be able to grow again. it’s HARD to stretch out into our own territory when we’ve given away plots of our own land to others.
so let’s begin to stretch out together. here are a few things that assist me on this journey ❤
stop explaining yourself
just stop. give a kind, concise answer and move on. you are not required to vocalize the ins and outs of the intimate parts of your healing. you are not obligated to give an open invitation to your hard, slow messiness that is this journey. that isn’t even possible. all you need to do is grow. expand. be an ocean, a mountain, the sky. be more of who you are. and your life will speak for itself.
be built up
soak in the strength you need to act. surround yourself with the things that inspire your passions and fill up your soul. stay in the Word. make meditation a daily must-do. read good books. like this or this. listen to great podcasts (jesus + yoga on itunes is my fave!). unfollow the crap out of people on facebook. change privacy settings on social media. fill your phone with music that makes you happy. create a vision board like this one. and if this little corner of the blogosphere makes your heart light up, make sure you’re signed up to be notified when I publish a new blog post. (scroll waaay down) keep yourself so surrounded by these things that you can easily deflect stabbing remarks and judgy glances.
yes, no, why
know how to use each of these words in ways that empower and build up everyone involved. say yes only if it’s a “hell yes!!”. say no if you’re too exhausted or committed. say no when people try to take your space for themselves and make you small. say yes when you can be a voice for someone who needs it. ask why always. ask yourself why you feel the way you do, why you respond the way you do, why you feel like you have to be a certain way. ask others why they expect what they expect of you, why their motives are clouded, or why they feel entitled to your voice, your story, your body.
set boundaries… and keep them
seriously just go read this post. it says it all. ALL the boundaries are just so good. boundaries are the healthiest, most loving thing you can do for yourself and other people.
love your journey
“someday you will see yourself and you will understand why it took so long. that kind of beauty takes a long time to become, and even longer to behold.” ~ Laura McKowen
that’s a TRUE quote, guys. embrace every messy step. every hard climb. every moment of your aching feet and hurting heart. because in the end, that kind of beauty is the reward for all the work. in the end, that’s what you become. in the end, you breathe fire. ❤