“Never settle.”

“Never settle.”

That day, as I read the words and quotes on the dry erase wall at the yoga studio, that phrase jumped out at me. “I think I am settling,” I thought. But I wondered: how I could be settling for a life that involved striving and pursuing healing? Shouldn’t that be a good thing? Didn’t I wake up everyday and push myself to show up, do my roles at home and work? Wasn’t I constantly seeking to better myself and learn?

To me, “never settle” often implies not settling for the easy or convenient. As a full phrase, I think the intention is often “never settle for less than what you deserve.” In this case, I deserved a change. At the time, I received daily messages of empowerment. However, the messages that once gave me inspiration had turned stifling. I was falling deeper into anxiety and depression. I deserved time and space where people I lived and worked with listened to me and acknowledged what I was going through. I was “settling” for my needs not being met. I also think settling can also be settling for a pattern, a way of being. In my case, the patterns of perfectionism and striving were no longer working for me.

In the end, I left. That wasn’t easy. I had to reform my life, find what I actually believed, and work towards healing from an incredibly invalidating experience. It wasn’t about pushing myself past my limits. It was about realizing what my limits were and that I deserved to create a life where I could take care of myself and heal on my own terms.  I didn’t settle, and my life is much richer for it.

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