I Didn’t Forget Where I Came From; I Just Couldn’t Stay There.

“Healing yourself is the glo up”


I had a realization recently. I was raised to be great BUT play small. I can still hear my father, “If you ain’t gonna do it with excellence, don’t do it at all. I don’t celebrate mediocrity”. I took that message to heart. Coupled with my innately intense personality, I poured my heart into everything I did. If I was going to do it or participate in it then I gave it my all. Each and every time. Anyone who knows me, knows I go hard. One would think with that upbringing and my complete acceptance of it, I would be much further along than I am. Yes, I am somewhat successful, but when I look at my life I am frustrated and a little angry. How does one who never cuts corners, has never made excuses and who has done everything with a spirit of excellence struggle the way I struggle? Then it dawned on me. Although I was encouraged to aspire to greatness, I was also raised to play small. I was raised to be great, but not so great that it would highlight the inadequacies in others. I was unconsciously taught that it is NOT okay to deviate from the group. I must maintain the status quo of our family and church community. And if I do happen to deviate then it must be kept a secret.  I was unconsciously taught that others are more important than myself. I was unconsciously taught to not be too big because it might make others feel small. Don’t let your light shine so bright that others are blinded. My entire life I’ve been great but oh so small. That seems oxymoronic, but it perfectly explains why I have had an internal conflict most of my life. Running full steam ahead, then looking around and not seeing anyone from my family or church around me so I must stop. And not only stop, but self-sabotage in order to fall back in line with those around me.

The message I received as a child and teenager was that I was not allowed to be happy if others around me were sad. I was not allowed to be blissfully in love while others were single and miserable. I was not allowed to be in excellent shape and be healthy while others were struggling with their weight and health. I was not allowed to be financially secure and free while others lived with a poverty mindset.  I was not allowed to enjoy life while others lived from one struggle and drama to the next.

 “Learn to say that’s on you.

Your behavior is on you

The way you move is on you

The choices you make are all on you.

The way you live, its all on you

Stop absorbing the pain of other people,

recognize what belongs to you and what doesn’t


This realization revealed yet another. I had been jumping from box to box all of my life to satisfy others. My parents, extended family, church family, and finally society. It’s as if from the day I was born, boxes have been shoved toward me and I was told, “This is where you belong. Get it and don’t ever think about getting out”. As the lightbulbs were going bonkers in my head, I was having difficulty articulating what I was experiencing. But I came across a post on IG by @iamness which perfectly described what I was feeling:

“At some point we stop taking on the energy of others. We stop absorbing the sadness, the guilt, the victim mentality, and the pressure. We stop telling our friends and family we relate to them because we honestly just don’t. We stop finding reasons to match the vibration of others and we force those around us to raise theirs on their own. You are allowed to heal and not relive the past every day. You are allowed to be unrelatable and selfish about the mindfulness of your energy. You are allowed to water yourCELF and grow unapologetically.”

Wow, just wow… And here I am. Deciding that not only will I be great, but I will also be as big as MY life allows. I will no longer use others as a measure of how far I can go or how happy I can be. If I do not relate to you, I will not force myself to. If you are not on my level, I will not bring myself down to yours. I will not participate in anyone’s story that is contradictory to mine. And if that makes others feel badly, so be it. I will no longer sacrifice my growth for others. I am choosing to not apologize for the bright and bold way I show up for life. I will not apologize for wanting more and actually putting in the hard work to get more. I am stepping out of boxes. I am establishing boundaries. Even if that means leaving family and friends behind. The guilt though. Leaving behind people you’ve known all your life. Those who have meant so much to you and have helped you along the way. The gratitude will forever be there. For those who want to come along and catch up, I’ll leave little clues behind so others know where I have gone. I’ll never forget where I came from. I just can’t stay there. Even if it means leaving others behind.

Kathleen is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Yin Yoga Instructor, Intermittent Fasting Specialist, Herbalist, Rootworker and Death & Mourning Doula.

2 responses to “I Didn’t Forget Where I Came From; I Just Couldn’t Stay There.”

  1. I so identity with this narrative! I guess this is why I’m still the black sheep of the family but I’m ok with that…no more a scapegoat. I decided long ago no more silence, secrets, or shame. Your strength and resolve inspires me!

    1. And that is why we connect! Thank you for being you!

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