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Who gets to see you be you?

Good morning my loves and welcome back to day 21 of our dry January journaling series.

Here is today's prompt:

"Who do you let yourself be around that you are 100% yourself? What does that look like for you? What does it feel like and why do you think it's easier around some people more than others?"

This prompt is relevant because last night I hung out with one of my friends from high school. We hadn't seen each other in over a decade but a few months ago she reached out and it's just been great.

I find myself not even thinking about what I'm saying around her and afterwards, too. You know when you leave a place and you think about every word you said over and over? It was one of those times where it didn't feel necessary because she's not the type of person who makes you overthink what you say - she shows up and makes you feel present and there.

It's got my brain turning about all the ways we contort our personalities to fit into other people's boxes of what is okay and what isn't. When we are around people who make us feel like we must change in order to be accepted, we feel the need to shame the parts of ourselves that they didn't accept.

As I've gotten older, I've limited my circle to people that I really can only be myself around. People that get to see me for me. I think if we start to really let the people we love see us for who we are - we get to be loved even deeper. We get to be known.

A big part of sobriety for me has been vulnerability. I've had to let my husband really see me and my pain for who I am. My trauma - my mental illnesses - my addiction - I had to let him in to all of it.

Being ourselves is actually the most vulnerable thing a person can do. It's terrifying because it opens up the truest parts of yourself to someone else. It lets them in to the parts of you that are raw.

It also happens to be the thing that helps you feel the most seen and heard - go figure.

When we're looking for people who remind us of who we are - these are the people who we don't have to perform for. The people who can understand us on the days where we don't feel like being our best self. The people who understand listening instead of controlling.

And most of all - when it comes to being yourself, you will have to talk to the voice inside your head as well. The inner critic, the one who is going to beat you up more than anyone else. The one who says you're not good enough or that's a bad idea or you shouldn't have said that. You have to stop believing that who you are isn't enough for people. You also have to convince yourself that you're worth it.

Believe that you deserve to feel like yourself around people. That you deserve to show up and be happy and true and authentic. You cannot shame yourself for masking yourself or not being who you want to be - you have always been doing the best you could.

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