There once was a girl who so loved the world, she wanted to make everyone happy in it… she loved her dolls, animals, and family whenever she could. She also had a wild and free spirit and loved to play hard with her brother and friends.

She was intuitive, so when she knew her parents weren’t happy, she often wanted to make things easier for them. She tuned into what that might be and listened carefully to their “Good girl!” praise and conditioning. She was naturally helpful and thoughtful, so would do small things to help her family, which was met of course with praise and compliments.

Whenever she had a moment where she didn’t feel like helping and was thinking of her own comfort or needs, she was quickly corrected “Don’t be so selfish!”. Her parent’s tone made her understand that she should feel some shame around being selfish.

She would visit her grandma on weekends. Her older brother didn’t have to go as often because he didn’t want to, and everyone understood he had plans with his friends.

The little girl learned once again that the plans she had been yearning for didn’t matter, that being loyal and selfless was the better way to be. He was being selfish but it was somehow different for him. Regardless, the little girl understood, her life was about pleasing others, and being selfish was not okay.

Later in life the little girl for all her good deeds and good intentions, found herself struggling with depression and exhausted from decades of trying to please all the people.

She had trained her husband, kids, and pets that she was their go-to and loved them so much she would take care of everything. She had so wanted to be a “good” wife, Mom, sister, daughter, friend, and pet owner and ran on the praise of hearing so. If anyone was ever unhappy though, she felt like a failure, and of course, someone was always unhappy about something.

One day, the little girl woke up exhausted and had a revelation.

Perhaps it wasn’t her job to take care of all the people or to make others happy. Perhaps they had some responsibility too.

Maybe, just maybe, what she wanted for her life mattered too. And in her head, she told everyone to ‘eff off’. She gave herself permission to rediscover that wild and free spirit. She googled the word “fun”.

She repeated at least 4 times a day for months after that, “No!” … and ..”…because I matter too!”.

To her surprise – everyone quickly readjusted to her new self-loving boundaries.

The world kept spinning.

At that moment she realized that she had always been enough, and the need to chase perfection or please others softened.

She smiled to herself, as she snuggled deeper into the comfort of her own skin.

And EVERYONE lived even more happily ever after.

Coming soon by Joanna Peters- A Woman’s word.

A Woman’s World challenges women everywhere to free themselves from the secret shame of their past through sharing the inspiring stories of nine brave women who journey from anguish and darkness, to experience healing and self-love.