By Ivorie Nicole
There comes a time where you are going to have to stop caring about what other people think.
Not just the people at work, school, or in public. But the people you call family.
Through a very difficult and raw emotional journey, I learned that I am responsible for my happiness, my own success and all that revolves around who I allow into my life.
Learning that I need to cut ties with all the things that don’t serve me was hard. There is a delicate balance between learning how to love your loved ones even when what they think is right for you is not what you know is right for you. I had to find understanding in that they only have the best intentions for me and that people fall victim to their own perspective. I found the confidence to know my perspective was my own, my path was my own, my life was my own. I define my life & need to very careful about who I allow to influence my decisions.
With time and practice, I learned to listen to their advice, learn from their mistakes and take the knowledge from their stories and apply it where it is appropriate for me.
During the times their words are not appropriate for my own alignment I have learned to become confident in making my own decisions and shamelessly make my decision with confidence but I must note, I do my best not to act out of ego.
I went to the grocery store last week in a giraffe sleeper in a luxury neighborhood, I had a stressful day and I didn’t want to wear clothes. I wanted comfort, so I created it, shamelessly.
The only thing I wanted to do was cuddle with someone I love and sleep. But unfortunately, life said “Knock! Knock! Ivorie you need to make money & you have a child to raise!” Being stressed out the only thing I could do was put on a giraffe sleeper.
I, a 24-year-old woman wore a giraffe sleeper to the store. I didn’t realize until I got into the store that I wasn’t wearing a bra.
So there I am walking around Whole Foods braless, in a costume, not even a giving a thought because I have no shame in my game.
I walked through the store grabbed a gallon of water, probiotic drink, and a coffee. Smiling as if I was in a pair of red bottoms.
People gave me compliments, some a few smiles, and some with confused stares.
While I was checking out, a sweet nicely dressed lady that was next to me told me that I looked comfortable.
I turned around giving her a very warming smile and said if you knew the day I had, you would understand.
At that moment where our eyes met, we could feel each others pain, tiredness, worry, and unwilling strength to continue.
She said “if only you knew the day I had”
In a few short words, we exchanged encouragement through our own struggles.
She had been in the hospital all day with her mother coming from a long flight from London, where I was staggering through only 3 hours of sleep and preparing for custody trial with my 4-year-old.
We didn’t need to say it, we just felt it, we sensed that we both were fighting a difficult and scary fight; for someone, we love & want more time with.
We were scared, we were tired, and we were longing for someone.
We wished each other the best and said our goodbyes.
I wish I would have given her a hug.
For several years I would have kept my mouth shut & pretended that everything was fine.
For several years I would have only worn clothing that would represent a certain stereotype of how I want to be perceived in society.
I would try to mask the pain and chaos underneath by my words & the clothes on my back.
I was raised to do this.
Isolate & ignore the problem.
In 2013 the movie Frozen came out and everyone knows the famous song “Let it go”.
I was in my second trimester of pregnancy when I saw this movie, I was married and so desperate to escape.
I was sitting in a movie theater next to the man I worked years to mask the abuse that was going on. I realized my lying for him only enabled him more.
Only made him abuse me more, mistreat me more, lie to me more and even cheat on me more. He learned through my strength, that I isolated myself, that I only kept to myself, trying to cover up all the pain he’s caused me.
I was too scared to leave…
I feared people were going to think I was a failure, that people were going to believe his lies, that I would be in a worse place than I was.
I was worried about the SHAME he would bring to me for breaking our vows.
“Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway”
My cold anemic limbs from pregnancy were shivering just as much as my heart was. Even though I was sitting right next to the man who vowed to protect me I was frozen.
I was living in isolation, I was living in fear, and it was getting me more and more stuck to myself.
The only answer to warm me & to free me was love… And so it began, my journey. I taught myself to stop caring what people think.
One year later,
I left him with NO SHAME.
I told him the truth, I told my family the truth, and I told his family the truth.
I was scared… No. I was terrified.
I didn’t realize how ugly it was going to get.
The storm I created was a mixture of my silence and the fear of shame.
I was so conditioned to chaos and making sure people saw me as perfect.
There’s no such thing as perfect and there is so much support that exists in this world.
No one can help you if you don’t talk about what’s going on and what you need.
Once I let go of the societal shame. I had to let go of the shame from the family.
I struggle with this to this day.
For so long I was so quiet and due to my silence, I feel that the support and encouragement I need, has been disrupted.
My own family had a difficult time accepting that I didn’t come to them when I was hurting and how well I was at hiding what I was going through.
Isolation is not the answer.
Shame is not the answer.
Shame is the feeling of being something wrong.
Shame is the feeling of not feeling worthy of love.
Shame makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
Let me tell what the answer is, but first…
Shame on those who even begin to plant any seed of doubt in you.
Trust yourself, trust your gut.
You are worthy of love, you are good enough and you are allowed to make a mistake. You are allowed to make a thousand mistakes.
Good people make mistakes, it’s where you learn, it’s amazing. What’s poor is when someone deliberately & consciously makes bad decisions; now that’s shameful.
Be shameless but in the most poise of ways.
There is no shame in being honest.
There is no shame in being vulnerable.
There is no shame in being kind.
There is no shame in standing up for yourself.
There is no shame in loving yourself.
But trust that everything is working together on a divine level, just needs to choose to trust, accept, & respond with the good.
So like Elsa says, just let it go.
Let go of what your family thinks is best for you.
Let go of bad habits.
Let go of limiting beliefs.
Let go of toxic people.
Let go of toxic thoughts.
Let go of toxic behaviors.
Stop mistreating people & remember to treat people the way you want to be treated.
Forgiveness is the answer to everything.
Forgiveness will free you from the frozen prison within and help you find peace.
If you can forgive, you can love.
If you can love, you can live shamelessly.
Spread the word
“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.” – Buddha