You Don’t Own Me.

I have a sticky note on my mirror that says, “People are experiences. I do not own anyone and no one owns me”. I look at it daily because I’ve always valued loyalty, commitment, and longevity. I once believed that when I opened my heart and my life to you, you will and should remain there forever.

You’re mine. You’re my friend. You’re my spouse. You’re my family member. Mine. Mine. Mine.

That way of thinking made things difficult when people left my life for any reason. On the flip side, I would remain in other’s lives no matter how uncomfortable it was to be there. Because I’m yours. Forever. I wanted to be “claimed” by others. It made me feel valued and worthy. Endings would devastate me.

What feels like so much loss in my life, I had to learn how to release. Release relationships that didn’t serve me. Release myself from the clutches of people who drained me. Allowing myself to be released by people who didn’t value me and to be real, maybe I didn’t enhance their life either.

People are experiences. This whole life is an experience. You can own cars, property, assests, but we don’t own people. When we view people this way, we are more grateful for the time that we have them. We appreciate what they mean to us in the moment. We appreciate them for the lessons they bring, whether they leave or if they stay.

We owe nothing to each other. You don’t own me. And I don’t own you. Let’s just enjoy the experience.

Loving You.

My daddy tried. He tried to teach me how a man should treat a woman. He opened the doors for me. Took me on dates. Walked on the outside of me when we walked down the street. Showed me what affection looked like. And somehow I still ended up with men who did none of those things.

What I’ve realized is, no matter what he might have tried to show me or tell me I deserved, deep down I didn’t believe it. My self-esteem was non-existant growing up and even up into adulthood (I’m still working through finding the root of it).

I would write on sticky notes that, “I am the prize” and place them all over my house. I was hoping that if I saw it enough, I would adopt the mindset.

But I didn’t.

Every relationship I’ve ever been in, even in marriage, I’ve treated men like they were the prize. Like I was the lucky one if they gave me the time of day. If they called or texted me. If they took me out. If they wanted to be with me or marry me. Somehow that approval made me feel like I was worth something. Being something to somebody. But in reality, it is only made me feel even more unloved. Bitter. Resentful. Angry.

Until I love myself properly, I will never be loved properly by others. Until I see myself as worthy, no one will see that either.

I should be telling myself I’m the shit because I am. I’m as humble as they come, but I have to hype myself up. I’m intelligent, I’m ambitious, I’m hard-working, I’m savy, I’m financially stable, I’m a damn good mom, I’m sensitive, I’m compassionate, I’m empathic, and I don’t look too bad either. When I exude that confidence in myself, everyone around me sees it and responds to it.

That’s what I’m working on. Loving myself appropriately. That’s what we all should be working on. Doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, black white, green, or gold. When we treat ourselves with respect, kindness, and love, others have no choice but to do it too.

So how are you loving you?