Have you ever had a relationship or job that drained your confidence? I just left a relationship that sucked the swagger right out of me and I couldn’t take it any longer. It’s been a little over a month and I am getting my swagger back! I wanted to share some thoughts on what has been helpful to me during this time in my life. If you’re going through some life changes, maybe this will help you too:
1. Make the Change
When you begin to realize that a relationship, friendship, class, job or other situation is hurting your confidence, the first thing to do is pause and be aware. Are you often tired or low on energy? It may be because some part of your life is draining you. Is there something you need to change to regain your confidence?
The weather had been so hot and dry where I live in the last month. I frequently felt rung out, like I would never feel better again. I realized that in addition to the weather, my relationship with my significant other was making me feel dry, empty, and anxious too. Over the last few months, I’d come to realize that the patterns we had developed in our relationship were allowing him to act out and me to be his caretaker. After lots of thought, I began to make my boundaries clear. He was not at all open to me saying what I needed, so I eventually ended the relationship.
It hasn’t been easy. There have been some anxious and scary moments, but I stood my ground.
2. Radical Self-Care
After I broke off the relationship, I realized that I needed to really care for myself. I went to see Shari at the Earth and Spirit Gallery in Taos, NM. She made some lovely coconut oil, rosemary, and lavender mix that I could put on my hair to help ease the dryness and make me feel nurtured. I went home, put the mixture on my hair and took a nap in front of the swamp cooler. When I woke up I felt so refreshed. Although I didn’t feel quite back to my regular self, I could imagine that I might someday feel whole again.
Shari also made up the Swagger Body Products! Check it out here if you’re interested in purchasing some for yourself! Because it is full of ginger, lemon, bergamot, and ylang-ylang, the smell is very invigorating. I spray some on every morning to help rev me up for any challenges I might encounter in my day.
What does radical self-care mean to you? Rest, exercise, good food, time alone, being in nature and nurturing yourself with aromatherapy are good places to start.
3. Find Your Support System
My friends have been so supportive of me, as I struggled to make sense of the situation and to make the change. I’ve also sought out counselors and other professionals to help me understand and respond appropriately to the situation. My health care provider is a certified nurse practitioner. When I went for my annual physical, I described what I had been going through and she was so empathetic and helped me figure out how to care for myself. My puppy, although not always well-behaved, is a constant source of laughter and love for me.
Where can you find support? Do you have friends or family who are there for you? There are many organizations in your community that support women leaving relationships, especially if the partner has exhibited controlling or violent behaviors. Call the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or check out this website. You can also look for support groups on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Rituals of Healing
As you make important changes with the support of your network and begin to take care of yourself, you may find that you are ready for the next step…healing. Seek individual counseling or reading books about your situation can help provide perspective and release from the past. Healing your heart can be more difficult. Many women observe the cycles of the moon, planting seeds of intention at the new moon and looking for illumination and fulfillment at the full moon. Others meditate or seek the support of spiritual leaders or peers in their faith. You may want to have a Tarot card reading which allows your own inner wisdom and knowing to emerge. What healing ritual might allow you to release the past and move forward?
5. Remember What You Love
Although I feel sad at times, I’ve been happy to have time back to do the things I love. For me, that is reading; mostly poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It is also writing, especially poetry and stories that allow me to express and integrate my feelings. I find that writing in any form brings insight and peace for me.
Is there something that you’ve put on hold because you’ve been too busy with a relationship or job? What can you do with more time?
6. Be Open
As you begin to re-emerge from a difficult place or time in your life, you may find that your mind clears and you have more energy. You might use that energy to volunteer to clean up a park, help at your child’s school or at your church. As you re-engage in your life, don’t be surprised if someone notices your renewed presence and smiles at you in a way that reminds you that you are attractive and desirable and full of swagger!
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