Tags: Abandonment, dating reflections of your parents, dealing with change, listening to yourself

Related posts:

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Nat Baggage Reclaim feet in sand

In case you hadn’t guessed already, I’m taking a break. I’m currently on the Spanish island of Majorca on our annual holiday and will be taking some more time out on my return so that I can continue to reboot but to also catch up on some behind-the-scenes stuff.

Eleven years ago, I didn’t know, love or like myself very much and it culminated in me being told that there was no cure for the disease that I’ve now been in remission from for ten years as of this month (yay) and that I needed to go on steroids if I didn’t want to keel over by forty. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to have kids and as you all know, I was also grappling with woeful taste in relationships and chronically low self-esteem due to the way I saw myself in relation to childhood experiences. I kept looking for love in the wrong places, searching out my father and even my mother in Mr Unavailables.

I’ve been on one hell of a journey since I walked out of the consultants office in August 2005 with my head held high, determined suddenly for the first time in my life, to fight for myself. I needed to get in command of me. I had no clue how I was going to get better or how I was going to improve my life and I’ll be honest, I got home and thought, Oh feck! What the hell do I do now?, but fear of going down a road I’d already been down or never actually living and enjoying the life I’d been given, far outweighed my fear of taking action.

I made a commitment to myself that I must honour for the rest of my days: to love and take care of me.

If we want one of life's tests to come to an end, we have to be willing to recognise and heed the lessonMy life has changed beyond recognition and I have been guided and supported by trusted folk who have stretched and mentored me as well as a wonderful gang of people around the world who have been following my journey at different stages. I am incredibly blessed but do you know what I’ve discovered over this past couple of years in particular? A part of me, which has been revealed as my work has gathered pace and visibility over the years, has been playing it small.

For anyone who still thinks that self-esteem is a destination, I can attest that it’s very much a journey and that along the way, life will throw you pop quizzes, walk the lines, or lots of these all together in your own Road of Trials, where it feels as if you keep being tested and you’re almost going, Are you fecking SERIOUS? Have I not been through enough? I’m still tired from the last go-round! Do I need to remind you about what I went through in childhood or the heartbreak I’ve been through or my last Road of Trials? This is not fair! I’m a good girl. Why can’t you go after someone who does “bad” things?

The thing is, you end up being tested in such a way that you not only learn a hell of a lot along the way that will help you to live and love better in the future or to even cope with whatever the future holds, but you also as a result of going through these trials and tribulations, discover a part of you that you did not know existed. It’s more of you to love.

Everyone goes through life’s tests, no one is exempt. Also, to be fair, if we want to stop sitting the same ‘ole tests, we mustn’t be hard-headed and keep insisting that our way is the “right” way or the only way, especially when we’re not getting the results that we want.

I’ve been through a series of experiences, particularly over the past couple of years but overall for about four years (pretty much ever since I made what felt like a Not That Big of a Deal Decision But Really It Is, about who would walk me down the aisle) that cracked me open in a different way. In some respects it feels as if I’ve battled with some flying monkeys and The Wicked Witch of the West! I was tired for a while and weirdly, it energised some of my work. But it did start to get on top of me emotionally. It felt oh so subtle at the time, but some of these experiences reminded a much younger part of me that ‘grown-ups’ (so older folk, namely relatives) cannot be trusted. Many, many moons ago, Little Nat, who was probably around 2-3 at the time, thought that she wasn’t loved and that she had to be strong, clever, pleasing and the responsible one at all times and at all costs. She was always alone in a way because she didn’t dare say how she really felt. For a long while, those feelings went away and Big Nat felt like she was cracking life, but a series of what felt like unrelated things happened and on one of those times, it must have been as if, on a subconscious level, Little Nat stood beside me in the room and went, “Ha! I TOLD you! I knew this was going to happen!”.

When you know how to take care of yourself, you know how to be there for others from a healthy place. Invest in you.

So I leaned even more into self-care and increasing my self-awareness, so understanding why I would take my mother and mother-in-law’s behaviour so much to heart. I wanted to know that I can pull me back, utilising my own tools and what I share here through Baggage Reclaim as well as allowing me to be nurtured and supported. It has not been easy although it has definitely had some uplifting parts to it. I have cried a lot over the last year or so but I’ve needed to. I’ve needed to go through this and no doubt it will fuel the next phase of the BR journey and in fact, has played a massive part in the 30-Day projects and talks that I’ve been doing.

But for now, I need a little time out because as a result of what I’ve learned and how I’ve been changing, how I’ve been working behind-the-scenes, no longer feels comfortable or right on for me. Nothing bad is going to happen–quite the opposite–but I need some time to implement the changes I need to make so that I can show up in the way that reflects where I’m at and where I’m headed but also so that self-care remains at the heart of all that I do. If you’re on a course, or subscribed to anything from me, or due to see me soon, you will still hear from me plus the likes of Facebook and Instagram will still be updated, it’s just a little pause on the blog posts and podcast.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites