“I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TAUGHT ME THIS WHEN I WAS YOUNGER.”
Sometimes I say things like, “I wish someone would have taught me this when I was younger”, but what I really mean is “I wish my mother, my aunts, and the women I called my big sisters would have taught me this when I was younger”.
I’m 38, and I’m the first woman in my family to have taken the deep-dive into this thing we know all now and refer to as: inner work.
My inner work began when I was 30 years old, right on the heels of one of the most volatile relationships I had ever been in. The relationship patterns I had up until that point were replicas of the relationships I witnessed growing up, but I never actually connected those dots until I started my inner work.
When you’re a child and a teenager, it’s hard to see the adult women in your life as women.
You see them only as Mom, Aunty, and Big Sis because, well for starters, those are their actual roles in your life, but also… it’s kinda hard to view those women as individual women, outside of who they are to you, when you have yet to experience and understand womanhood yourself, isn’t it?
When I was a teenager, all of the adult women in my life, including the mothers and aunts of all of my friends, were in their early thirties; which meant they started having us kids when they were still kids, themselves.
As teenagers, most of us (my friends and I) didn’t have fathers in our lives; instead, we had our mothers' boyfriends. Some of us saw our mothers change boyfriends often, others of us saw only a couple of boyfriends, but all of us saw toxic and even extremely abusive relationships.
Those toxic and abusive relationships that our mothers, aunts, and big sisters called “love”, then became our blueprint to our own relationships as we stepped into adulthood…womanhood.
I’m 38 years old, and I am the first woman in my family who learned how to love myself the real way. I’m the first woman in my family to sit down, recognize my wounds, face them, and heal them. I’m the first woman in my family to experience real, authentic love, and a healthy, safe relationship with a man…but I’m also the first woman in my family to have access to the abundance of resources, information, conversations, and tools at my fingertips in order to do the type of inner work that I’ve done and continue to do, so that I could stop my own cycle of shitty/toxic relationships.
I’ve learned so much about myself through the inner work I do, and the more I continue to learn, sometimes I find myself saying, “I wish someone would have taught me this when I was younger”, but then I have to remind myself:
How could the adult women in my life have taught me better, when they didn’t know any better for themselves?
So, all of that said, here are 3 things that I wish someone would have taught me when I was younger:
1 - To listen to my body; it rejects people who aren’t good for me.
When I dated and/or got into relationships with men who weren’t good for me, I had:
Constant migraines (literally), but I told myself it was because I needed a new prescription for my glasses.
Constant back pain that I told myself was from my job at the time.
Loads of nervousness—I had a hard time relaxing and grounding myself. I always felt on edge in those relationships.
I always felt exhausted, drained.
PH balance issues with my vagina—bruh, this oooone though? Listen, when I tell you that I went through hell with this, I mean it. “Maybe it’s my fabric softener, lemme change it. Maybe I can’t use fabric softener at all? Let me get rid of it. No. Not that? Okay. Maybe I’ve been eating more sugar lately? I’ll stop. No, not that either?? Okay, maybe I need to change the soap I bathe with. Done. No? NOT THAT, EITHER? What the FUCK.” The list of things that I stopped, and tried, literally went on and on and on.
Please listen to your body; it rejects people who aren’t good for you.
2 - Financial Education
All of the adult women in my life were living in survival mode, often just trying to make ends meet. The only thing I really learned about money growing up is that we didn’t really have any. I was never taught how to save, I was never taught about taxes, credit cards, investing—none of it.
I only started educating myself about money and what the hell to do with it in my early 30’s. Yes, I binged the YouTube videos. Yes, I absolutely spent money on some courses/classes. I asked questions, I Googled, I took notes. I did what I had to do to learn, to equip myself with knowledge.
Also, I only started learning how to build my credit in my early 30’s.
Get financially educated, it will make such a difference in your life.
3 - Emotional Regulation
All the adult women around me growing up were chaotic AF and emotionally immature. As a result, there was always a lot of screaming and yelling everywhere I turned. My house, my friends' houses, outside — everywhere I turned.
I’m almost positive my people-pleasing wound, alongside my throat chakra wound was created from being in that type of environment, but that’s another story for another day.
All I know now is: I’m pretty sure I would have benefited tremendously from someone teaching me early on how to emotionally regulate myself. I’ve since learned how to do that, and thank God because I’m now able to aid in teaching my bonus children how to do the same—not just by telling them, but by being an example for them, too.
Learn how to emotionally regulate yourself; not only will it make a difference in your life, but in the lives of those looking at you for their cues.
I hope reading this was able to help or inspire you in some way, shape or form. If nothing else, it’s food for thought. All I ask is that you finish your plate so you can go be great ;)
P.S If you would like to read about my journey through toxic relationships and how I made my out of them, click here to grab my books. Sometimes just knowing that another woman has been where you are and made it through...can make all the difference in the world.