We live in a world where our calendars have to be full, we are expected to say yes to everyone and we should never cut anyone off, despite any wrong doing they have done to us.
This thinking is bullshit!
I have spent a lot of the last 7 months dabbling in the areas of self care and finding the pieces of life that truly make me happy.
I have realized a lot.
A full calendar, the obligations, the prioritizing what should come first and trying to make the most out of the 12 hours we are awake doesn’t have to happen. You do not have to be everything to everyone and do it all. Whether you work full time, are a wife, mother or friend, you do not have to be a philanthropist, therapist and spiritual advisor in your spare time.
I’m not saying you can throw in the towel on all your responsibilities. You still need clean underwear and to feed your children. But you do not have to attend every charity event in the tri county area. You do not have to have a cookie cutter house with the perfect decor that it spotless. You also do not have to tend to every needy persons beck and call, whether they are friends or family.
Which brings me to my next vital point. You do not have to hold on to people who jeopardize your peace. We all have one of those people. Hell, I had more then one! Whether they are friends or family. If they don’t bring you peace, cut them loose! We have this preconceived idea that we have to hold on to people who have been apart of our lives for any extended period of time, especially family.
I’ve come to realize, family doesn’t always have your back. They don’t always want what is best for you. Sometimes their lives are just too messy for yours. And that’s ok. It’s ok to separate yourself from them. It’s ok to separate yourself from toxic friends if their souls don’t align with yours anymore either.
The only soul that really matters is yours! You have the power to take back your life and your happiness and you can’t do that when you are giving yourself to everyone and everything.
My life has been messy the past couple years. I gave and I gave and I gave until I didn’t have anymore to give. I became an ugly, hateful person. I didn’t like myself or the people around me. I would lash out at everyone and I couldn’t curb my temper. After December, when Chad told me he wanted a divorce and our marriage was over, I started to finally find peace. I realized so many aspects of that life brought on nothing but stress and unhappiness. I started to realize I had given myself to everyone and everything but had completely forgot to give back to myself. Your car can’t run on a dead battery and neither can your mind and body.
So I literally sat down and wrote a list of things that made me happy. I grouped them into categories and found activities that matched up with them. I enjoy flowers and gardening so I made it a point to put visit Longwood gardens on my list of things to do to bring peace to my soul and give myself back a bit of happiness. I enjoy coffee and baked goods. So frequent trips to the House of Coffi and The Station on Kings went on my list.
Then came the hard task. Turning away the people craving my attention and just saying no to their needs. It’s a hard task to combat when you are someone with a big heart like mine. Usually, when someone came to me and needed my help or my time or my advice, I would cancel any plans I already had for myself to make room for them. The first time I said NO was exhilarating : it was such a powerful moment. To be honest it was a epiphany moment, like holy crap, I can do this, the world didn’t end, no one rioted in the streets and I survived.
The people who I said no too either understood or they didn’t. I realized the ones who understood were indeed concerned about me and my needs. The ones who didn’t, who became upset with me because I was putting my needs above theirs had no room in my life anymore. They would never provide the same respect to me that I would to them. If you can’t understand the fact that I am emotionally, physically and mentally drained and I can’t deal with anyone else’s crap in the midst of these life changing events, then you never will understand.
But you shouldn’t wait until you get to the point where you are unraveling to nothing to make this decision. This should be a conscious decision you make everyday. Loving and giving to yourself is a form of self care. And women especially do not love themselves or care for themselves nearly enough. We should not have to try to be superwomen. We do not have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Take a moment. Evaluate your weight. Determine what has to go to make you happier. Determine what you absolutely do not need for survival.
Lastly, remember, you don’t need perfection, sometimes you just need simplicity and grace.