Adults and media gave me messaging as a child that you needed to find a spouse to complete you. That happiness came from finding someone else.

Turns out, it’s an inside job. Relationships are great, but other people are not in charge of your happiness. Relationships actually fail if you don’t deal with yourself first and foremost.

I was told that you need a Mom and a Dad and they needed to be the most important relationships in your life.

Turns out, love and support comes in so many shapes and sizes. The important part is that you have support. Whether you have two moms, live with your grandparents, single parent, or any other structure of a family, it all comes down to being loved and supported. We have to stop looking at who we believe is “missing” and start looking at all the love around us.

I received the messaging that your job title is who you are. What do you want to be when you grow up? Over and over again.

Stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up!! Most people have many jobs on their journey. What I do now, I didn’t know existed when I was 18 years old. We need to encourage kids to seize opportunities and learn as much as possible. Stay open minded and continue to grow.

I like to make sure teenagers know that you have to keep moving forward and embracing life but you should not know who you will be when you are 30 when you are 18. The important part is to stay productive, enjoy each phase of your life while you are in it, do not fear change and opportunity.

I was told I needed to fit into a box. That it was somehow my job to make everyone else feel more comfortable. Don’t talk about the hard stuff in life. Don’t share personal details. Don’t speak up. “This is the way it is”. Be quiet. Don’t question things. Behave. Make yourself smaller for everyone else.

Turns out, I don’t need everyone to like me, nor should I want them to. Instead I focus on being kind, empathetic, and compassionate. I just keep doing the next right thing and listening to my inner voice, not the outside messaging.

I understand now that I won’t be for everyone. People will leave. People will criticize. But you don’t need to be for everyone. The truth is, when you start acting like your authentic self, the wrong people fade away and the right people start to show up.

It’s crazy to me that so many people lose sight of the fact that they are enough. Right for the very start, just being who they are.

When we are young, we idolize our parents and assume they know everything. The sad part is that a lot of children are affected by very hurting adults. When the adult screams at them, hits them, doesn’t show up for them, children can’t understand that it’s not about them. It’s about that hurting adult. Instead, we decide their must be something wrong with us.

It contaminates our own sense of worth right from the get go and most of us never even realize that was happening. Yet, we carry it with us into adulthood.

We need to rewrite the messaging. Because the truth is..

I am enough. You are enough. It’s crazy how enough you are.

Close your eyes and try to remember who you were before the world started to tell you who you needed to be.

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