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Breaking into My Life

Breaking Into My Life chronicles the impact that growing up with a mentally-ill mother had on author Michelle Dickinson-Moravek, and how she finally reclaimed herself and the life she deserved.

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Continuing to learn….

My life has been in a bit if a tailspin the past few weeks. So, thank you for being patient with me. I am embarking on a challenging yet exciting time of change. Thank you for all of your love and support. It really means a lot to me.

Today, I want to share something very powerful with you. It is quite honest and I really hope it offers you something. I am very fortunate to have a great therapist who has been helping me heal and navigate the impact that my childhood continues to have on my adult life. During my last session with him, we talked about something that really woke me up.

We spoke about my strong sense of responsibility. I had always thought that it was one of my more positive qualities but when we dissected it together, I learned differently. It makes complete sense that I was groomed to be responsible as a child caregiver for mom. After all, I had to routinely step in and clean up our messy house including washing the piled-up dishes in the sink and scrubbing the food encrusted counter tops when she was down for the count. There wasn’t any question about it. I just did it. The obligation and sense of responsibility that I had of picking up the slack was my normal. I just did what had to be done.

My therapist explained the contrast of doing something out of responsibility versus doing something out of generosity. He shared how doing something out of responsibility drains us versus doing something out of generosity fuels us. This was fascinating to me. And it started to make a lot of sense.

He went on to explain that when you are giving from generosity it fulfills on something that you want to genuinely do. Meaning, I want to give you something because it is deeply fulfilling to me to see the joy in your face and because I want to do this for you. The intention is also very different than doing something out of obligation or responsibility. So, it makes total sense that giving from generosity gives us energy.

Next came the massive realization that because I am so familiar with coming from a strong sense of responsibly, I have been draining myself. I realized that I had a fear of being perceived as selfish – something that I would avoid that at all costs from a very young age. So, I was used to feeling obligated to do what is expected of me first. Even as an adult I continue to put my own wants and desires on the shelf after the needs of those around me. And, that no longer works for me.

So, that is where I am today. I continue to be open to learning more about myself as I focus on shaping my future into one that serves me better. I would love to hear if any of this resonates with you. I can’t be the only one dealing with this.

With love,


6 Responses to Continuing to learn….

  1. You are not alone dealing with this Michelle. I experience it at work and at home. Here is a very small example of what I did out of generosity today. I was cycling around the community I live in for a much needed quick break. Someones recycling bin was at the side of the road. I quickly got off my bike and moved it by the garage. No-one was there to see it. But it lifted my spirits doing it. Sometimes its the simple things that make a differnece.

    • Celia thank you. Very sweet example. I appreciate your comments always.

    • Thank you for your comment and feedback Heather. I appreciate hearing from you. I will absolutely keep being 100% honest. Hugs!

    • Thank you. I only know my own life experience and continue to learn and be in therapy. We are all works in progress. By sharing our own pathway, perhaps we can help lighten the load for others.