No Shade November: Connection + Healing

It’s the second-to-last month of the year, and decade! Can you guys believe that one of the most catalyzing (I’ll speak for myself here) decades to date is coming to an end? Whether you believe it or not, it is happening. Recently, I’ve been in a funk. Even though I am making steps toward the life I want, I struggle with letting go of the past.  Instead of spending the rest of the year dwelling on a really challenging decade, I’d love to face my demons and focus on healing, before entering a new chapter of life.

Part of what inspired this month’s theme is an event that occurred a couple weeks ago. I went out for a drink with friends at the borderline pretentious E.P. & L.P. Naturally some not-so-sober guys approached me and my two friends; we chatted for a bit, and the guy who was talking to me extended the invite to an “afterparty” at his place. Now we all know how it would have ended if my response to the invite had come from a place of validation-seeking and lack of boundaries. I’m a genuine free-spirit, which gets me in trouble sometimes.

I thought I did a great job at verbally shutting down the man’s invite. However, later that night, my friends mentioned that he had put his hand on my leg like he knew me, and I had just let it slide. I facepalmed at the realization that I did not notice this gesture at all when we were talking.

Then, I realized that one of my most significant personality characteristics– my aloofness– had been widely taken advantage of in my relationships with men.

Quite frankly, it has been a trauma response that has likely prevented me from setting appropriate boundaries. I love being in my own little world most of the time, because I feel safe with myself, and sometimes totally unaffected by those around me, but I realized my level of aloofness can be compromising, and even off-putting, in certain situations– I am actively working on this from now, into the new year.

Since my revelation, I have decided to focus on healing such traumas and building healthy and authentic connections with others. Here are a few ways you can join me on this journey.

This month’s challenge:

  • Complete this journaling exercise: Write down your traumas, and three healthy ways you plan to face them. To accompany these, write down 3 affirmations for healing from your traumas.
  • Mend a relationship or two, or three: Reach out to someone you care about, who you either have lost touch with, or had fallen out with due to a disagreement. Start with small talk and let the conversation evolve– don’t go in it trying to bring up the drama.
  • Continue with positive affirmations from last month’s challenge.