It’s been a bit since my last post… I’ve thought daily of posts and had every intention, however, I found myself taking a little “me time” instead. Here’s what I learned:
There is absolutely no one responsible for your well-being, happiness, place in life, thoughts, feelings, and all things in between but YOU! It’s that cliché we have all heard far too many times, maybe our parents said something of the sort or a coach, mentor, friend… I think we hear it but do we really “hear” it? Do we understand what it means and how to better get an understanding of the concept? It sounds so difficult or maybe even irrelevant, but in the last 30 days of doing some work on just this, I can honestly tell you that it’s pretty important and rather simple really.
Be selfish! Yep, that’s right… I am telling you that you have to be selfish and it’s NOT a bad thing!!
As a full-time mother of two boys in two completely different spectrums of their lives… I find myself tired (a lot) and for quite some time I found myself a bit victim to this role and harboring resentment and strife. I’ve always worked, managed my own life, even if it was a full plate, I had it down. This past year or so I have felt like the plate had me down and I couldn’t quite get a handle, not to mention without a monetary salary attached, I have felt absolutely “less than” and unimportant. Yikes! What an awful way to feel… no wonder I have not been happy. Well, partially to blame any how. Then there are all of the dealings of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, motherhood, and hormones that come in to play… although it is the most profound and meaningful gift for me to be a mother, that doesn’t take away from some of the complexities and frustrations as well. I have struggled with body image, self-love and respect, balance of time, and how to be all things to all people… not fully realizing that included myself. As a person who has always loved to be “on the go,” active and enjoying every moment of life, being without many of these elements for so long weighed heavy.
So in this past month, I have become my version of selfish. (I will admit it is much easier to do that once you’re done breastfeeding!) My version of being selfish looks sort of like this:
- I work out… whether it is a 28 minute high intensity/rep workout, an hour long pilates class, or an hour and a half long yoga class… I make the time to do something. I used to sit by and watch my husband go off to the gym or hear of his bike rides and runs, happy for him, yet bitter in side because I was still sitting at home with stretch marks and fat in tow. This was not his fault, it was mine. I didn’t raise my hand and say, “hey, it’s my turn,” earlier. I felt guilty to do so… not trying to deliver an excuse but since I was no longer working and contributing financially, I felt I had no business doing anything for me. WRONG! Had I lost my mind? As a former single mom, I know all too well the cost of day care, then throw household dealings and well, what I realized is that what I do matters and in many ways cannot be measured but maybe summed up to be “invaluable.” In ways I wasn’t giving my husband enough credit because the moment I spoke up, he not only fully supported me, he pushed me out the door! So this part has helped with body-image and it is amazing how healthy living really does create a happier self, without that much effort really. Who really can’t find 28 minutes?!? Best part of that, no one around to judge you so you just go all out and once you find a glimmer of confidence in yourself again it makes public work outs a much less intimidating ordeal and even makes it fun again.
- Random acts of kindness… I have always loved to do things for people, to make them smile, just small gestures to know that they are thought about. In a world full of mean tweets, political and ridiculous facebook posts, and minds buried in our smart phones, we are losing site of others in a real, face-to-face, genuine way. I used to be much happier when I was focused more on making someone else’s day than my own. A family member recently told me this was very selfish behavior… but you know what, that is okay. I will be selfishly proud of being selfish then! It is selfish because I do it to feel better inside about who I am and how my influence may be upon others and the mark I will leave in this life of mine. I want to be remembered for being someone who loved and cared about others. There are times this can backfire though so you have to focus on your reasoning or purpose and not expect anything ever in return.
- DO NOT THROW DIRT (see previous post here)! Even listening to someone with their frustrations and feelings and negativity can and WILL pull you down! Although it feels justified when someone has wronged you or hurt you to vent and vent some more… what good does this do? It certainly doesn’t hurt them, they’re already hurting, it just hurts you. Hurt people hurt people. Yet another cliché but rings some truth. Try to see the good in someone hurting rather than focusing on the bad they’re showing… see them how you’d like to see them (happy, successful, loving, fun to be around, etc.). As my brother so eloquently said recently to me, “you cannot change people and even if they have wronged you, calling them out on it will only hurt you longer… bury your boomerangs and treat people how you want to be treated.” Well, he is right. The more I focus on the hurt someone has caused me, I only feel worse inside and that relationship only becomes more strained. Now, I am not implying that you just let people treat you badly and walk all over you… no, you definitely set boundaries and communicate as needed; however, I am saying that for me it has worked best to utilize meditation and “let it go” type of an approach. So this past month I have actively worked on letting go of resentment, judgement, hurts, angers, jealousy, and expectations… it is hard this one but it is worth it. I am in better control of my emotions and daily happiness now, empowering!
- Be kind! I have been much kinder to myself this past month… in ways you sort of have to take a “fake it ’til you make it” type of approach but don’t discredit and judge this method to be fake or nonsense. It is power of mind and power of energy that this approach creates, therefor it is rather successful as it creates a better sense of self and mind control. I have taken the time to acknowledge myself and who I am. As I look in the mirror and start to point out every aging and post-birth of two flaws, I literally stop myself and out loud say, “knock it off.” Although I am not that airbrushed younger and sexier version of myself that social media says I should be in order to be wanted by a man and valued by society… I am so damn sexy! I have fought depression as a teen, weight issues as a young adult, delivered two healthy babies to term, exclusively breastfed for an entire year, and I am healthy. My husband is just as lucky to have me to go through life with as I am him. My eyes hold all I have seen and still see beauty. My heart holds a lot of ache and pain in corners buried by happiness and love. I am capable of forgiveness. I care a tremendous amount for people. I am capable of so much and this along with my imperfectly perfect body makes me valuable and worthy of love. So as a woman that understands the struggles that life’s choices and circumstances has to offer… I practice empathy and sincere gratitude for all of it: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Life has been a blessing and I choose to live happy!
Thank you for letting me rant a bit about where I have been the past 30 days… my sole purpose of creating this site was to share with others and only do so in an honest way, acknowledging that life is not perfect, but yet such a gift and that ultimately the goal for me is and will always be to “go beautifully.”