Rebuilding of self
Is not a one and done
Over and over
Phoenix, ashes, repeat
Difficult, but an inside job

Then comes the external reflection
Others responding to changes in me
It’s been tough
Tough to hear the words
To feel what’s beneath them
Dawning realization

I was a constant, a rock
Consistent to a fault
While unhealthy, setting expectations
Of accessibility, always there

I’ve changed behaviors
Which is stirring up emotions
And people are reacting
They want to go back to how things were

I’m no longer back there
I’m here now
I don’t want to go back
There is nothing there for me

I am protective of my energy now
I choose to live vulnerably
I’m nurturing myself out into the world
I’m delighted by what I’m uncovering, discovering
I surround myself with people who make me feel safe to be myself
Who are kind
On their own path to heal themselves

I now know when someone is treating me like shit
I can feel it
I can see that is their habit – encouraged by my old habits
I taught them how to be with me

The mere whisper of me drawing a boundary is terrifying
A challenge to me and the other

I want to live softly
I no longer act tough to fit in
Your sharp words exhaust me
I want to spend time with you only when I feel strong enough

I want to live in alignment with myself
I no longer care about others’ expectations for me
Your concern is a reflection of yourself, not me
I find it wearisome to receive

I’m tender towards the other
They are confused
Their emotions are coming out messy
I have changed and they don’t understand

I don’t owe anyone anything
Radical language
A raised eyebrow of disbelief from the other

No expectations
There is nothing more kind
And freeing

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