Emancipation is a heavy word. I get it. It has all sorts of negative, powerful, scary connotations from a historical Point of View (POV).
The definition of the word means, “to free from restraint or influence." If we look at it from an internal POV - Then we can ask the question, “Where am I holding myself back?” “Who am I being influenced by and is that influence a positive or negative in my life?” When we ask these questions, we put ourselves at choice. Meaning, we are able to free ourselves from the effect of being restrained and choose to live life differently. Emancipate ourselves.
When I was going through divorce, at some point I began to realize that my actions and reactions were based on someone else restraining me - keeping me “down.” My self-esteem during my marriage had withered away until I truly felt unlovable. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting me or loving me. Upon further investigation, I realized that outside influences had been my source of self-definition. I was trying to be someone I thought that my parents, my friends, my husband wanted me to be. I didn’t know how or who to be me for me. Who was I? How could I have allowed this inner decimation to occur?
During the pain and chaos of the divorce, I began to realize there were parts of me that I liked, and, dare I even say, that I could love?!? I began a focused effort to love myself from the inside out. The desire for another man to love me became secondary to learning how to love and honor myself first. I had never done that before. It was never modeled for me.
Women giving themselves away in order to nurture and raise a family, a community, was the model I had witnessed. Any strong woman was considered a bitch. She had to put on a masculine facade in order to play in the good-old-boys clubhouse. So the cage had been built when I was a small girl. The walls of the cage reminded me to not stand out, not be so emotional, to be the “good girl” so that others would love me.
No wonder I entered into a marriage where I gave myself away in an effort to gather my husband’s love. It only gave him silent permission to shackle me internally and walk all over me. I didn’t know how to stand up for myself, because I didn’t love myself. Any time I attempted to stand up for myself, it would deteriorate into a yelling fight where eventually I apologized for whatever I had been manipulated into believing I had done. Does any of this resonate?
The pain of ending a 28-year marriage and the realization of what I had endured rocked my world. I remember standing alone in my kitchen determined to love myself more and come out of the divorce a whole person. I could viscerally feel shackles around my ankles. I realized I was going to need more courage and strength to love myself through all of the ugly, bad stuff. My husband had shackled me to him unconsciously and he wasn’t going to let me go. I was going to have to fight for my emancipation. That felt like a turning point. I made a deeper commitment to Loving myself by standing up for myself, no matter how frightening that action would be.
Where are you feeling bound, held back and restrained? Ask yourself if the bondage is because of an inner belief you have or because of a relationship that you have given your power to. And what is it going to take to love yourself more than you ever have? Just the simple inner investigation will begin the journey to inner emancipation.
Curious? Contact me and together we can unshackle you from whatever is keeping you from Living Your Empowered Life.
The ring tone on my phone at the time was “What doesn't’ kill you makes you stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. Every time someone called me I was reminded to be stronger.