“Pick your battles”
he said
and though I knew it was not
it felt like a threat

I used to never choose war
I was committed
to keeping the peace
which to me meant
making sure
I was liked
and approved of

I lived mostly under the radar
making sure I was never the one
you could point your finger at and say
you, you ruined this
you made a mess of things
you’re difficult and needy
you’re not wanted here

I was a secret keeper
an echo of a woman

I never took much responsibility
I didn’t express my preferences
(frankly because I rarely even knew
what I wanted, aside from you to love me)
But even if I did know what I wanted
if it wasn’t what I imagined you would want
I wasn’t willing to rock the boat
I wasn’t willing to insert my “needs”
I preferred to people please

Now this may surprise
those of you who know me now
If anything I am overly inserting these days
I tend to swing to extremes
but I remember who I used to be
and I remember what it was like to think
it was better
to have you love me
than know me

And some days I do question
if the extreme I am in
is actually serving me

I have become someone
who insists on talking through
every little detail
of what seems unclear
or off to me
with those close to me

I can be compulsively persistent
in a way that has created
unquestionable depth
with some of my dearest ones
and most definitely driven others away
others who prefer
a more easy way of being

And I am not judging that
quite the contrary
I am wondering
what is best
or better
of if there is
an in-between for me

Because it is rather grueling
insisting on what I am attempting
I’m imagining there is a way
to relate that still feels real
where secrets aren’t needed
but neither is talking everything through

It’s hard for me to imagine
because I create distance
in the unspoken
because I don’t know how to feel
truly connected and close
if there is something between us
I’m not understanding

But is seems appealing
and relieving
to be able to
“pick my battles”
To know when keeping a process to myself
isn’t actually compromising integrity
but rather me learning
to be more self-referencing

I error on the side of codependency
I love to merge
and it has given me
some of my very sweetest moments
but it has also cost me greatly

And so I am revisiting
what it means
to stay true to myself
and connect deeply
What it means
to know what I want
and be with what is

What I do know
is that I definitely
always want it to feel like a choice
I am wanting to know
that I can actually choose my battles

Because my impulse when told to
pick my battles
was to shut down completely
to go back into hiding
and refuse to share much or anything

Because what I heard is
“You are too much”

And that touches
a still open wound
I got a long time ago
as so many women I know
And I am not so sure
why it still feels
so very painful
to think
I am too much
but it is one of those core boo boos
that for sure haunts me
And when triggered
it has me disappearing
on even those close to me

And so I step back
because when in our hurt
we cannot see clearly

Because when triggered
we are just busy trying to survive
and I want to do more than that

I want better than surviving
for you and me

I want us to be able
to choose
how we want to be
intentionally, freely
in an inspired way
not ruled by fear
or trying to manipulate

Rather, in a way
that has us thriving

the way of relating
we crave
and trusting that those
we are just right for
will find us
if we stay

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.