you & me

Reciprocity And The Permission To Let Go.

Reciprocity: a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc.: a reciprocal arrangement or relationship.

I have spent the majority of my life cultivating my good girl gene in order to please everyone but myself, and have been a people-pleaser for decades in hopes of keeping shame and rejection as far away as possible.

I also believed it to be the spiritually correct thing to do.

Guess what? It doesn’t work! Instead, I have created a battle within. My heart and mind have been at odds for a long time, and it’s beginning to show up in my body, which, by the way, has been very confused all of my life.

This happens when you say one thing but mean another, and continually stuff your truth down into a dark and tiny box located in your tender, bewildered abdomen.

I have become a master of letting people off the hook — to a fault. The thought of disappointing someone has kept me from moving forward in my life many times, and things have been asking to change for a while.

I finally understand what it means to set boundaries, and now believe it is an act of true self-care.

As a result, I now find it nearly impossible to show up for anything where I carry most of the energy. The extra effort it takes to keep things alive leaves me tired and run-down, and I’m done with it.

If you are in my life and are not holding up your end of things, our relationship will be changing. Please know this does not mean I love you less, it means I have to start loving me more.

This turn of events will be applied across the board — work, family, friends, old habits — it all has to change. As of this very moment, I will only be offering up as much as I am given. Reciprocity.

The thought of not having to work so hard feels delicious in my body. The idea that I can do this and that it doesn’t mean I am giving up, allows my belly some relief. I give myself permission to let go.


I am letting go:

If you say you will get back with me and don’t, no worries. However, please do not expect me to chase you down.

If I send you a text message and it consistently takes you over a week to respond, I will no longer initiate contact.

If I send you an email asking for a response and receive nothing, I will have to assume events we’ve started together are no longer important to you, and I will move on.

This also includes initiation of contact — I will no longer keep a ball rolling all on my own. If you are interested in what’s happening in my life, or have expressed interest in working together, please reach out.

If there is something I am offering in my work, and I’ve kept it going with little to no response, it’s gone. Time to start something fresh.

I will also be asking myself some tough questions, and notice where I’m not showing up in my own life. How have I been absent to those who continue to show up for me? Where is it that I drop the ball and play hide and seek with myself?

The realization that I can live my life like this is exciting and scary. I know some people, things and ways of being will begin to fall away, and I feel a little sad.

However, continuing to live in this way just doesn’t work anymore, and I am curious to see where this letting go will take me.


StephanieGrayStephanie Gray is an artist, writer and facilitator of process art. She is the co-owner of Creative Nectar Studio and finds her nourishment through creative self-discovery. Find out more on her website or connect with her on Facebook.


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