8 min read

Your Undiscovered Birthright.

Your Undiscovered Birthright.
Photo by Surface / Unsplash

The other day I posted a TikTok about trust.

The message, simply put, was that when you trust people to be themselves you don't have to be disappointed.

One example I used was if someone isn't good at keeping your secrets, believe them when they show you that.

Choose someone else for your secrets, while knowing the person who can't keep them is probably reliable for other things. Discover what those things are and trust them for those things.

The comments were mixed.

Mostly agreement, but enough of them said things like, "If I can't trust you to keep my secrets, why would I even want to be around you?"

On one hand these are standards and I have to respect someone's standards.

Your standards won't look like mine and that's a beautiful thing.

But what I saw in these comments were not JUST standards...

They're also something else...

See, deep down, we all know we have a fundamental human right that nobody talks about:

The right to love and be loved.

We want others who can be safe spaces for our soft spots, yes.

But we also want things like play, joy, adventure, passion, and rest.

Most importantly, we want to share our play, joy, adventure, passion, and rest with others.

Because beautiful moments feel a little less beautiful if we have no one to share them with.

So we all want the same thing: to feel connected.

Yet so many of us struggle with exactly that.

In my line of work, the reason becomes obvious pretty quickly.

We struggle to feel connected because we struggle to trust that someone else's display of love & connection are real if it doesn't look and feel like ours.

i.e. "If you love me you'll keep my secrets."

"If you love me you'll fight for me."

"If you love me you'll show up when I call."

The list goes on.

I think one of the most insidious impacts of systems of oppression is how they condition us to oppress ourselves out of our own fundamental rights.

Including the right to love and be loved.

The right to belonging.

A fundamental freedom so many of us lack.

So hear me out, because I'm a big fan of standards, but in this case, I believe mine are higher.

Because my standards don't exist to protect me from someone else's inability to love well or in a way that helps me feel safe.

That's what boundaries are for.

My standards exist to raise my experience to one where love and connection are in easy supply.

One where I get to experience love, connection, and belonging more freely than the story I inherited taught me I could or was deserving of.

Because let's be real, if the stories we inherited were working for us, we wouldn't need to read or learn shit like this.

We wouldn't need to feel so guarded, so lonely, so bitter.

When It's Not a Standard. When It's Something Else.

Trauma does one thing: take away our choices.

The army vet can't return to war.

That's okay.

The unloved child can't return to love.

That's not okay.

Both are trauma.

Systems of oppression restrict our freedom seemingly from the outside.

Trauma restricts our freedom from the inside.

Trauma is a function of systemic oppression.

It seeps into families. Our homes. Our wombs. Our psyches. Our bodies.

It has us trade in liberation for learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness is what happens when you untie a horse but the horse remains still, believing itself to still be tied to the old story of "I can't be free."

Or even when the horse knows it's free now but still stays, believing the story, "freedom is dangerous. Best to be captive."

As if any of us are getting out alive, anyway.

Humans experience massive amounts of involuntary and subconscious learned helplessness as a result of oppression and trauma.

Relational & attachment trauma steals from us our fundamental right to love and be loved.

It cages us to an experience we call love and connection that feels like fear, loneliness and bitterness.

i.e. we call "if you love me you'll keep my secrets or I'll abandon you" love and connection but you can feel the fear, loneliness and bitterness in the threat of the words themselves.

Healing teaches you that:

Love isn't a set of rules.

Love is a felt experience.

Love is acceptance.

Love is healthy boundaries.

Healthy boundaries are not controlling. They do not tell others who to be or how to be safe.

Love is honest feedback that doesn't sacrifice kindness and understanding.

Love is freedom to be yourself and grow and heal on your own terms.

Love is feeling secure enough in yourself, to give others the space to do the same.

Love is not a cage, a box, or a trap.

Love itself is not a responsibility. There are simply responsible ways to love.

And we think our way of loving is common sense.

But there's no such thing as common sense when shit is so wild at this point that we all have uncommon stories in one form or another.

Love is the ability to live my story next to yours, with all our differences, and still feel safe and free and supported.

That is love.

To force likeness of the people around you is literally the act of forcing assimilation.


Oppression is never, ever love, and you can't convince me otherwise.

At most, oppression is survival. Fear.

People fear losing you, so they assimilate.

You fear losing them, so you assimilate.

This isn't love. This is oppression. This is fear. And this is the shame of "they're right, I'm not worthy of love if I don't love like they do."

So personally, I find a lot of freedom in the boundary of, say, not telling someone my secrets if I know they can't handle them with care.

Then I get to love them as they are while loving myself enough to know that I'm protected - as is the relationship - from that potential harm.

I'll find someone else to tell.

No one is harmed in this equation.

No one is sacrificing standards or boundaries.

Everyone is expanding their capacity and experience of love and connection in this equation.

Everyone has more access to different flavors of love, connection, and freedom, in this equation.

These are high standards.

These standards fill cups.

Yet we fear this open field because we're loyal to our chains telling ourselves, "they keep me safe" in spaces where this other person poses no danger.

If someone can't keep a secret and I tell them anyway, I am the dangerous one to myself.

If someone can't keep a secret and I have nothing else to share with them, I'm a danger to myself. I am the one who is restricted, there.

I find a lot of freedom in knowing there's so much more to me than my deepest and darkest that I can share with the people around me.

I might not want to talk to a family member about the depths of my personal life but that takes nothing from the joy I get talking about dreams we're dreaming, goals we're pursuing, and books we're reading over a game of Scrabble.

There's a lot of shit I can't trust my father with but that man will protect me from any outside threat and he tells a damn good story.

Not being able to experience everything with you doesn't mean I'm not grateful for experiencing what I can of you.

This is love.

My standards include more than secrets and "I can count on you when I'm in trouble".

That is survival. That is not a whole love.

My standards include the things we want to share outside of hardship and scary shit.

Things like play, joy, laughter, adventure, and rest.

I don't need to give you access to the softest parts of me to have significant, meaningful moments with you.

Grow with you.

Explore with you.

Laugh with you.

Let you show me some things about life I've been missing.

We're bigger than our secrets.

We're bigger than our trauma.

And life wasn't meant to be feared.

It's meant to be experienced.

We're more than what oppression has taught us to believe about ourselves and one another - that we're broken & caged, or otherwise dangerous if wild.
And we need to stop viewing each other this way.

We are simply human.

We are inherently varied and complex.

We all have different wisdom we learned in different ways.

We are influenced and impacted by one another.

We are all, in fact, afraid.

We are vulnerable.

And we are brave.

And we're more than all of that combined.

So if you're struggling to tap into your freedom, remember:

Baby, you are a whole human.

And so is everyone else.

The soft of you deserves protection and honoring, and I hope you find safe spaces to melt into yourself and be held.

I know so many of us are missing that the most.

Just don't forget your play.

Remember your passion.

Remember your adventure.

Remember your rest.

Remember your exploration.

Remember your hobbies and curiosities.

Remember your lust for life.

Remember your freedoms.

Remember your joy.

Remember that only oppression tells humans that our weaknesses make make us dangerous and unworthy of love and connection.

Love never told us that.

And in a world where every single one of us wants connection and love - connection and love are most definitely available.

And vast.

So be protective. Yes.

Have your boundaries and standards, abso-fucking-lutely.


Remember that boundaries and barriers are two different things.

Allow yourself to move. To navigate.

Give yourself room to breathe easily in community with people who are different than you.

This is for you. Not them.

You deserve your freedom.

To love & be loved freely is your birthright.

So, remember to be free.

Remember to be free.

Remember to be free.

You don't need anyone's permission or compliance to be free.

Rooting for You,


P.S. If you need support with this click the card below to see about coaching.

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