The lessons we learn as children shape our choices many years later. For those who experienced childhood sexual abuse, this influence was ramped up and tied to our sense of survival. We left home armed with the same instinctive responses that helped us manage the chaos of our youth.
Believing we have to accept all relationships is one of these impulses. We didn’t grow up learning how to discern, choose, initiate, or decline associations with other people. Like fly paper, we were stuck with anyone who chose to get near us.
Our healing journey shows us this is no longer true. Though we can’t change how people treat us, we get to choose who we invite into our days. We aren’t fly paper. We’re butterflies in a garden of potential relationships. We get to land on flowering possibilities that are right for us and move away from the blossoms that don’t feel good.
Every day, every moment, we now have the power to decide who enriches our lives. Using this information, we can create a web of relationships that support our dreams, celebrate our spirit, and share a journey of personal growth.
Healing takes us away from ‘have to’ and ‘should’. It shows us a relationship serves no one when either person feels diminished by the connection. It gives us the courage to embrace those who will nurture our future and let go of those who would keep us repeating what we knew in the past.
Notes along the way… Jeanne McElvaney
Inspired by Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story
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