playing small

Cheryl “Salt” James recently shared her sat down with The Jasmine Brand and shared about her divorce after 28 years of marriage. Here is a quote that stuck out to me.

“It was me trying to fill someone else’s void. And I didn’t realize that I was doing that. Sometimes we make ourselves small to fit in someone’s box and accommodate them. A lot of times we do that with men. And when I was coming out, it was a long process of me coming out of the dark part of being divorced.”

The reason this resonated so well with me is because I have been through this. More than once. I was this woman. Always willing to be accommodating to my man to help build him up even though I was feeling tore down. I was always willing to make sure that he had all of his needs, or what I thought were his needs, met, but never requesting any of this for myself. I played myself small. I did what he liked and strayed away from what he didn’t like for the sake of the keeping him happy and content. Many conversations weren’t had for the sake of the contentment and peace in the relationship. But I was not content. I was suffocating. I was pouring from an empty cup. (I have a post on this.) That monotony of the everyday processes of the relationship caused me to not realize what was happening. I was unhappy and didn’t realize it. I had gained a massive amount of weight, I just wasn’t caring for myself in the manner that I deserved. I lost myself for the sake of his happiness. My soul was weary and I just didn’t know it. It had been so long (12 years) that it all seemed absolutely normal. All I knew was to be there for him as much as possible despite working long hours every single day and care for and rear my children. No room for me. No one looking out for me.

12 years is a long time. Over a decade of life dedicated to another human being that did not come out of me. One would think, it’s been 12 years, you may as well stay and work on it. Are you really going to throw 12 years away? I really despise that mentality. So, do you stay in a place you don’t want to be because of time? Or do you take the learned lessons and move on? Salt walked away from a 28 year relationship because it didn’t serve her any longer. 28 years. Ladies, we must do away with the “may as well stay because it’s been X amount of years” mentality. I refused to stay for another 12 years simply because 12 years had passed. I cut my losses and I made a decision to spend the next 12 years and beyond being who I need to be for myself.

Moral of the story: Never, ever, play yourself small!! And remember, if the man in your life is the man for you, he won’t allow you to be small in the relationship. He will always boost you up and inspire you to be the greatest woman that you can be! And he will encourage you to be YOURSELF!