I do not see my worth.
I look to you in order to find it.
I become who you want me to be…
because then you will value me.
I need you to value me,
because I don’t.

I am skilled at picking up what you want me to be.
I know intuitively what it is that you want me to be.
But it is not the real me.

I don’t even know who the real me is.
I never got to discover who I was.
I learned when I was young to not be the real me.
It wasn’t safe to be me.

It wasn’t safe.
It isn’t safe.

I wear this mask now.
You don’t know that I am wearing it, but I am.
I am a chameleon.
I am afraid you would not love me if I was not your version of me.

I continue to be who each person wants me to be…
It keeps me isolated.
Surrounded by people, but alone.

I tire of wearing this mask.
I cannot connect deeply with you because the real me is hidden.
It hurts to be hidden.
I hurt.
My pain is silent.
I keep it hidden from you.
Until the pain is too great to bear…
for another decade…
another year…
another day…another moment.

So here I remain….
until the pain is unbearable….

The pain is too great. The mask is too heavy for me to bear anymore.
I begin to peek under this mask.
I look at my isolation.
I grieve all the loss.
I desire to be seen and known and loved.
I desire to live authentically.

I see that as long as I find my value in me being who you want me to be….
until I find value in me not being you….
I am always going to be tempted to be you.

So, I let a few safe people into my hidden place.
Thank god for a safe place and a safe people.
It is scary. But it is good.
Clothed in courage and surrounded in love I do the hard work.

I begin to see my value.
I find value in not being you, but in being me.

I have worth.
And that worth is worth defining.
I begin to define who I am.

I establish boundaries.
Boundaries are more than saying no.
Boundaries are knowing who I am.
Boundaries are knowing who I am not.
It is knowing what I will do, and what I will not do.
What I like and do not like.
What I believe and do not believe.
What I will allow and not allow.

Boundaries are values.
MY values. Not yours.

Boundaries are beliefs.
MY beliefs. Not yours.

I believe what I believe.
I value what I value.
I enjoy what I enjoy.
I do what I want to do.
I love what I love.

I finally know the real me.
I am not isolated anymore.
You can know the real me.
I choose to live authentically.
I choose to be me.

It seems the tale is ended, but it is not. It is only begun.
Over time, with grace and truth, I am becoming.
And life is becoming….
beautiful and worth living, at last.


Sometimes I see the path to growth through the art of story.

If this story is part of your own story,
whether you are in the hidden part or in the becoming part,
I would love to hear from you.

Do you have your safe place?
A safe people?
Let’s find them.

Let’s uncover and empower the real, authentic, beautiful you!