I have a confession to make.

I used to live a lie.

Each day I woke up telling myself I was doing it right, but I was doing it so so wrong. I used to maintain that I was taking care of myself by making sure everyone else's needs were being met. I used to neglect my needs in the name of selfless "love" to my friends and family. I used to ignore what I wanted so that everyone else could have what they wanted. And I would lie to myself with an inner monologue that this was the only way. This is what life has to be like, I have to ignore me to help them. And the "them" is far more important than the "me."

I was a big fat liar. I was terrified. I was scared to live my own life. I was scared of all of the decisions that I would be faced with once I decided to live an authentic life. Total and complete paralyzing fear that I disguised cleverly behind friendship.

 It was a trap.

 So I changed my mind. I decided that I had to be able to do both. I had to be able to be a good friend (what I used to believe was my one and only talent... another lie that had to be uncovered) and successfully have my own needs met.

I began making steps to break out of the trap, climb out of the hole, gnaw my own arm off if I had to in order to LIVE.

SCARY! Changing my entire dynamic with everyone I know. Defining clear boundaries rather than prioritizing others every single time. What would happen to my relationships? Who would accept the new version of me? Who would reject it? There was only one way to find out...

Guess what happened... everyone that I truly love, and genuinely loves me, is still around. No one got crazy or upset... a few people faded out. My closest friends were relieved. I had no idea the concern they had for me. The concern they had for my lack of vulnerability. Their issue with me not meeting my own needs. Their observation that I spent all of my time for others.

Guess what else happened? All of my friends and family are able to make it on their own. They are strong amazing people. They need support, not a martyr. They need love, not an on-call, drop everything to be their assistant/babysitter/counselor/errand runner. They need a friend.

In a conversation with one beautiful friend of mine I inquired of her, "I am looking for a word. But I am not sure what it is. What is the word for letting go of needing to solve everyone's problems for them? For wanting to support loved ones through events and ideas rather than enable and swoop in with a save attempt? Kind of like being a recovering enabler?" Her response, "The word you are looking for is LOVE."

I want to support you.

I am filled with so much happiness that I have been told, "You laugh more than you breath."

I am filled with so much love that I will cry happy tears because of a memory or a simple act of kindness.

I am filled with optimism and I want to share that with whomever I come across.

I am billowing with confidence in my fellow humans that we all have the power within ourselves to make IT happen (whatever the "IT" may be for you.)

I feel excited.