It was the perfect day for a wedding. The sun shone brilliantly without being oppressively hot. Best of all, the people I loved most in the world were gathered in the storybook garden where Nick and I had begun to recite our vows. So why wasn't I happy? Why was my pledge to love Nick "until death do us part" making me feel as though I might perish on the spot? Why did every cell in my body shriek, "I don't!" when I whispered, "I do"? I realize now that I knew better than to marry Nick. I'd had a sinking feeling in my stomach ever since he'd popped the question. But instead of paying attention to my feelings—including an absence of sizzle from our very first date—I focused on the many advantages our union had to offer.
I've since learned that each time we ignore our inner voice, we shrink a little inside ourselves. And the more we second guess that voice, the more we fear that if we rise up to our full height and declare our truth, we'll be rejected, reviled, abandoned, unloved. But the opposite is true. As Florence Falk, a Manhattan psychotherapist, says, "we can't expect to have authentic relationships with others unless we trust ourselves first."
The good news is our trust muscle can be built up; we just need to tap into our inner wisdom. Each day offers a thousand opportunities for us to practice. As with building—and maintaining—any muscle, repetition is the key. The more you trust yourself, the stronger and more confident you will become.
From the October 2000 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!