I used to shut down whole pieces of myself in hopes of pleasing my partner. I sought love and approval, not by showing up as the beautiful boldness that I am, but by shrinking down parts of me that I felt were unlovable – becoming less of the strong, quirky, uniquely radiant spirits that I am

Sometimes, when we’re in the wrong relationship or feel disconnected from our truth and self-love, we hide parts of ourselves and our vibrant personalities, in hopes of fitting into a narrow mold to please our partners

We are afraid that we will be too outspoken
too sensitive
too free spirited
too flirtatious
too needy
too weird
afraid that if we show up fully as our true selves, it will be met with judgement rather than support

I know this so intimately

I attracted partners who liked the false illusion I portrayed, and shamed and pushed away the glimmers of myself that I dared to allow shine through, reinforcing my fears that my deep self – full of the complexities, the joys and troubles, the emotional needs that make me human – was too much of a burden to bear to be in a fully connected relationship

So, to gain the approval and affection I so deeply desired, I hid all those parts that I felt were unlovable. And it’s been a conscious unwriting process to notice my tendency to hold back, freeze up, and shut down when I start to feel fearful in new relationships

Me hiding pieces of myself is an internal red flag that I am now mindful of

When I notice the urge to dim my light, it’s now a reminder to give myself a big dose of self-love and step outside the fears, and show up as my full self, and let go of connections that don’t value my authenticity

With deep self-awareness and a commitment to our own truths, we can spot these early warning signs and honor them before we lose ourselves

I’m sharing more about how to deepen your own awareness of internal red flags, honor them, and navigate them in your relationships in my latest podcast on Patreon here 🖤