When you don’t love yourself, you make excuses for all sorts…all sorts of behaviour, all sorts of unhealthy habits, all sorts of broken promises, all sorts of red flags…all sorts.  I had been making excuses for so long that I stopped noticing they were excuses.  Until I couldn’t anymore.

I’m writing this from the vantage of one who has finally learned how to fall in love with themselves.  To finally be free to be fully, unapologetically and authentically me.  I now know how important it is for me to be fully me, to be seen and heard in all my journey because there are others, just behind me, waiting to be inspired, waiting for the permission they need to start to tell their story.

This is powerful.  We can start ripples that will rise into waves and I can see the waves forming. I am so looking forward to being in that flow and riding the wave with as many positive, seeking, learning, growing, expanding, sisters as possible.  Building community for the first time in a meaningful way for some of us…Community, Support, Expansion, Love.  This is how we will collectively grow, but I digress.

I just feel so excited to finally have my path!   It was a long time coming and involved many lessons and much resistance along the way, but when the awakening finally, finally, finally brought the years of seeking, learning, growing and expanding together in a way that fit…like a cosmic puzzle with each piece floating effortlessly (well, not quite effortlessly yet, but that is the ultimate desired state) together…and suddenly I SEE!  I SEE ME!  And I know.  Finally, I know, my path.

In early 2016 however, I did not know my path.  In fact, I was breaking down, I had no plan, not really, just some vague notion that I could hang a shingle, call myself a Counsellor and the women would come.  It was not a well thought out plan, if you could even call it a plan, it was desperation masquerading as a barely feasible plan.  I simply could not do that work any longer and I grasped at, what I had in my delusional state figured was the easiest and most logical move. I listened to others who thought so too, although they did usually express a need for a plan stronger than mine, but I couldn’t wait.  I NEEDED out!  I found a possible office space, was it ideal? Far from it, but I was adept at ignoring my intuition, especially when I was in reaction mode.  I didn’t realize I had been in reaction mode for a very long time.  I started to make steps out the door in my mind.

When I shakenly broached the idea to my wife, although she could see I was unhappy, she took a bit of time to come around to the idea of leaping without a parachute, initially asking if there was not a way that I could “just make it work”, still in the fear-fog I had broken through.  The cracks, over time, became a breach and once I knew I had no choice, the relief I felt assured me I was finally, making the right decision.  My wife obviously came around, we are still together, but it was and remains a challenging part of the process of transformation and one of the most important lessons I have learned…we have no control over how others will take information or behave, we only have control over ourselves and no one, NO ONE can make me feel any way, nor am I responsible for their feelings.  It is always a choice how we receive and filter information.  In the past, my reactions, which were pretty much always rooted in fear or worthlessness, so often made the situation worse, or certainly not any better.  Do you know how freeing it is to finally see that? To be able to stop, drop and roll, if you will, into a higher vibrational state of mind when you see the old patterns start to come out your mouth or in your thoughts.  Fucking freeing, I’ll tell you!

As can happen with social workers, nurses, therapists, and others who help others when they are in burnout, I started to erroneously magnify my responsibility to my clients and chose the timing of my departure to minimise the potential impact on them, but mostly to get the hell out of there as soon as possible.  After a long weekend of discussion after discussion with my wife, it was finally agreed, I would provide my letter of resignation to finish at the beginning of summer.  Could I have taken vacation and resigned after?  Yes, but once the decision was made, the relief was palpable in every area, every cell, every thought, YES, YES, YES!!!  I couldn’t stomach one more day even if it was only on paper!

I vibrated the whole way to work, waving people over as they cut me off in bumper to bumper traffic, I didn’t care, it was almost over, the countdown was on!  I breezed into the parking garage without having to talk myself through stomach lurching and beeped through the doors and elevator to my desk, grinning, and people were staring.  A couple approached with that quizzical look one gets when they are trying to remember something, asking if I had changed my hair or something, I remember one saying, no, it’s because she’s smiling.  Hey Michelle, you’re smiling!  It had been so long since anyone had seen one of those on my face, they had literally forgotten what it looked like, although truth be told, very few of my work colleagues had ever seen an ear to ear grin on my face.

Waiting to finally go in to my supervisor’s office to present THE RESIGNATION LETTER felt like 50 million years instead of 50 minutes, and he eyed me apprehensively as I grinned at him from across the desk and pushed the letter into his hands, not trusting myself to speak.  The years passed as he slowly read (I’m fortunate to be an abnormally fast reader and watching other people read feels soooo long) finally looking up in confusion.  You mean you’re really resigning?  Now?  I couldn’t suppress the giggle as I responded, Yes, in 3 weeks, I’ll tidy up my files and I am out of here before summer. I guess we don’t have to pull seniority on the last-minute summer vacation requests after all, solves that problem for you, and now I can officially say, I don’t care, I don’t give one shit, let alone two.  Yes, it may well be a hard road ahead, but it can’t possibly be as hard as this, so I’m good!

As I floated out of his office, with a smile even larger than I knew I had in me, people staring as I passed, full of pride and conviction, I declared in my mind I would finally be the success I knew I could be, and in those moments, I almost believed it, almost, but I wasn’t there yet…nope, lots and lots more to come between then and getting to now. If you would like to receive your weekly dose directly, click on the link below.

https://michellewinterburn.com/weekly-inspiration/