“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown
Choice; It’s a funny old thing.
Everyday, we make hundreds of choices without even realising that we are doing it. The choice between toast or cereal for breakfast, a choice between a mug of coffee or strong cup of tea.
A choice between getting out of bed in a morning no matter how terrifying the thought, or pulling the covers back over your head, feeling safe and forgetting the world.
The problem is, the world is still there on the other side of that duvet no matter how much you pretend it isn’t.
Choices have consequences.
One of my best friend once did this. She hid herself from the world because of her anxieties and lost everything she was about.
One day, she made a choice to throw back the covers.
She made the choice to get up and face the world and chase the dreams that she had someday wished to fulfill.
She realised that she deserved more than the darkness that had consumed her being for so long.
The consequence of her actions that one morning means that now, she has made a business for herself, she works extremely hard and provides an amazing life for her and her son. She made the choice to face her demons head on and as a result, lives a happier and more fulfilled life. She decided that her “someday”, would be “today”.
It’s like a choice between following your head, or following your heart.
So flippant are we with making these choices, that sometimes we so easily forget the consequences that follow such choices and we lose sight of the person who is making those choices.
We lose sight that these actions may also affect those around us. The ones that truly mean the most to us.
As children, choices are made for us by our parents. They are made with us in mind.
The schools we attend, the places we visit on holiday, the clothes we wear. Every little thing, is chosen for us.
But as we enter adulthood, those choices become our own responsibility. And these choices, have consequences!
Just over eight years ago, I made a choice to enter into a relationship with a man that I had chosen to be with. I chose to live with him and build a home and life with him. He was my absolute world and every choice I made, I made with him in mind.
The problem was that the majority of choices he made, he made with himself in mind. He didn’t think about how those choices would ever affect me.
Within those eight years, he choose to cheat on me, at least twice. And both times, I chose to forgive and forget and stay by his side, honouring the vows I had made to him. But the consequence of doing so, made me lose sight of who I was. I lost sight of what I truly wanted and what I truly deserved.
I loved him. I loved him so much that sometimes, I couldn’t breath. He consumed my entire being and that was why I allowed him to treat me the way he did. I don’t know what he got out of destroying me time after time. But I hope that he never puts anyone else through that. And if he does, I hope they find the strength to make the choice to walk away.
I waited for him. I gave him chance after chance after chance and I left him with every god damn thing I had. And he took it all without a care in the world. I tried to hang on because I thought he was worth it.
And one day, I just stopped waiting. I gave him the world and I kept fighting long after I should have walked away. But it was me and me alone, that made the choice to stay!
I don’t want to hear that he now misses me. I’m bloody glad that he does! Because I allowed him to control my choices for too long. And leaving him, was the best choice I have ever made.
How many scars do we have to justify, just because we love the person holding the knife?
The past year has taught me a lot about making choices for myself. You see, almost twelve months ago, I met a man that I thought was literally everything I had ever dreamt of.
He came into my life when I least expected it and turned my entire world upside down. Compassionate, intelligent and devoted. He really was my very own “Prince Charming”. The problem was, that I couldn’t see in myself, what he saw when he looked at me.
You see, when someone cheats on you, it messes you up. You think about every single thing someone says to you twice. Even three bloody times, just trying to figure out if they really mean what they say.
You have this constant anxiety that they are hiding something or that they are just going to randomly leave and you over think when they short text you or take a while to reply.
It’s not something that you can control. It’s just the behaviour that you have learnt as a result of being cheated on. It’s extremely hard to believe someone when they say you are the only one for them, when the last person that said it is now in someone else’s bed.
If you are dating someone that has been cheated on, please be patient. Understand that it’s not you, it’s the piece of shit that came before you and we are sorry that you have to deal with the “mess” that they caused. We are trying to learn how to trust again and choosing to let someone new in after so much heartbreak, is a very difficult choice to make.
I made the choice to let someone else in.
He broke my heart.
But in a strange way, I am glad that he did!
For over twelve months, I have been suffering from anxiety and PTSD. I put on a front that everything was ok and that I was strong because the alternative was admitting that I had a problem and in my eyes, that wasn’t a sign of being strong.
I was embarrassed to say that I was suffering with a mental health problem because to me, that was a sign of weakness. Everyone around me could see that there was a problem however, I was not ready to admit it myself and I was not ready to make the choice to get some help.
Seeing him become distant and uninterested made me realise that he wasn’t the problem, I was.
It was my choice to take on all of the stress and grief from my family and friends after the death of my Mother. It was my choice to try and be strong for everyone else. My strength carried them all through the toughest time, but as a result, I got lost along the way.
That was my choice, not theirs.
But it was his choice weather or not he held my hand and helped me through it, or walked away.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to be the man I needed him to be and he walked away. And I don’t blame him.
It must have taken a lot of strength for him to walk away from the woman he loved. He had kept me safe in a bubble for almost twelve months and whilst that bubble was still there, I was never going to admit that I needed help. So I am beyond grateful to him for showing me that I needed that help and for setting me free and allowing me to do it by myself.
I didn’t make a mistake by loving him, or my ex husband. Or anyone else for that matter.
You should never ever regret loving someone. Because you didn’t actually make a mistake by giving them a chance. That’s a true display of strength, not shame.
You didn’t make a mistake by trusting them, believing them or being there for them.
And do you know why?
Because your actions reflect you.
You would do this for anyone that comes your way. It just happened that those were not appreciative of your pure intentions. You didn’t make a mistake.
The mistake was their choice to make by not appreciating and respecting your beautiful heart.
And I hope that someday he can appreciate how far I have come and see that by him making the choice not to fight for it, he enabled me to able to do this all by myself, for myself!
I know that someday he will realise that I am once again, the girl he fell madly in love with. Someday, he may just understand how much he truly meant to me and I really do hope that he understands how grateful I am to have had him in my life, even though I was unable to show it at times.
Because you see, for him I may just have been a chapter, but for me, he was the entire book!
I’ve finished that book now.
Now it’s time to write a new one!
So when it comes down to it, have that extra piece of chocolate if you really want it and finish that bottle of wine.
Make the choices that will make you happy but bare the consequences in mind. Start living for today and be true and authentic to yourself.
If you’re having a hard time of things, be honest with yourself and take that leap of faith and ask for help. Walk away from that toxic friendship or relationship. Because whatever you’re feeling, it will eventually pass. You won’t feel sad forever and at some point, you honestly will feel happy again!
You won’t feel anxious or worried forever and in time, you will feel calm again. You don’t have to fight your feelings or feel guilty for having them. You just have to accept them and be kind to yourself whilst you ride this out.
Resisting your emotions and shaming yourself will only cause you more pain and you absolutely do not deserve that. You deserve your own love, acceptance and compassion!
And if there is something that you feel strongly about, speak up. If there is something that you really want to do but haven’t had the courage to do so… then now is the time to stop dragging your heels, get up and turn that “someday” in to “today”!
© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)