Note To Self: Stop Trying To Be Everything

Being healthy is to overall focus on myself for once. After going a few months at work eating my lunch at my desk almost everyday or having lunch cut short, taking my work home every night and weekends at the expense of my sanity. No wonder at the beginning of March I was knocked out by a cold. While taking a sick day, I realized as I went in and out of sleeping, I needed to stop feeling guilty for taking care of myself.

I have this habit of trying to be everything and doing everything for everyone. Maybe it has to do with being a women, or the competitiveness of society, or just social media making me feel like crap. Either way it seems like an endless cycle of trying to be everything; perfect friend/girlfriend/employee/daughter/Christian, staying busy all the time, staying fit, eating healthy, trying not to loose your sh!t at small things and large things, keeping a smile on your face, etc….the list goes on. In this modern society we have created a mindset that if we are not doing what needs to be done and being productive 100%, that we are being selfish, lazy, or worst, weak. It’s an unhealthy mindset which leads to burn out, depression, anxiety and host of other issues. Not to mention how tiring it all has become.

It has been tiring to the point of exhaustion-I’m exhausted. Isn’t it tiring trying to be perfect all the time? Exhausted trying to be everything without taking a break to focus on ourselves and our mental health.

For years I swept my feelings and issues under the rug, ignoring them and replacing them with unhealthy copping mechanisms. Always turned out miserable, feeling horrible all the time and left as a hallow out shell. After reading Becca Risa Luna’s post on this very topic, her advice was simple, taking care of yourself is work that needs to be done too. Work which you do not sweep feelings, issues, and health under the rug just to keep others happy or to be perfect.

A part of being healthy is to commit to being healthy mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Just by realizing this, you are more capable than you give yourself credit for is a part of taking care of one’s self. Giving yourself permission to take a break for as long as you need, to not control everything around you, to set limits, boundaries, and just live in the moment doing what makes you feel nurtured. Give yourself credit for just being, for living, and for once taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is work needing to be done too. You don’t need to be everything to everyone, you just need to be you. There is nothing selfish or lazy about needing to be yourself and taking care of yourself in the process. No need to be perfect for everyone.

As I continue into the next month, I’m still reminding myself this simple basic rule; taking care of yourself is work needing to be done too. Giving myself credit for being, for living, and taking care of myself at times first. Even if it is to simply read a novel while hiding from the world for a day or two.

Valentine’s Day Six Years Later|Forgiveness

I came across the first blog post I wrote for this blog (Life Must Moving On-2012) while cleaning up a few blog posts. Last year I celebrated six years with WordPress and little by little this blog post was pushed in a dark corner of my blog’s filing cabinet not seen daylight for five years. A dark place really for a post full of hurt and pain. Moving on from any relationship is hard, let alone a dark sinister one filled with violence. Dating violence, domestic violence, and any form of violence have a lasting impact on someone’s life for years. Sometimes it takes a long time to fully heal from the damage someone inflicts upon you.

In the past few years, I have started to tell bits and pieces of my story, a story when played out in spoken words has an impact I never expected. See some of us who have been through it really don’t talk about it, instead choose to move forward to what the future holds for us and one day when we have an unguarded moment, we talk. I find myself only talking when I am confronted with it from another person’s life story I either read, heard or saw first hand. All the while keeping from deflecting my experiences on to the other person. It takes a lot of strength to not fall apart when helping a fellow person who is going through abuse. This strength could only come from forgiveness of my own experience.

It does take a lot to forgive someone who has done an unspeakable thing to you. Especially when they have moved on with their lives knowing well what they had done. Yet, in order for anyone to move on, you do have to forgive the person, not say it never happened, but more for yourself to move on into the future you want for yourself. By allowing forgiveness to lead you to the person(s) who would never dream of hurting you like the other person did, you start the process of healing fully.

For me, it took a long road to fully heal and to finally say I forgive them fully. It took a trip to Tanzania with Northwest University/Convoy of Hope, two positions in biotech, going back to school to finish what I started before them, finding the real true friends and family who would walk every painful step towards healing. In six years I have rebuilt my life, what it took one person to destroy in two years. In those six years, Jesus and many people along the road came through many times to get me to where I am today. Most of all to the men I dated after who even when the relationship did not work out, taught me love does not destroy another person but strengthens them to a better person than before.

Never again will I justify the scars just because I loved the person holding the knife. - Steve Maraboli

Valentine’s day is about love, but for some, the day is about love through forgiveness of one’s self and forgiveness for another person’s false love. To me, Valentine’s day is about freeing myself from abuse disguising as love, and the ultimate act of love, forgiveness.

I have said this countless time to people before,

I was a victim, then a survivor, now I am thriving!

I no longer am a victim to the pain of someone’s actions long ago anymore!

Which Way Is Your Deck Chair Facing?

charlie-brown-cruise-ship

Which way is your deck chair facing?

I came across this little comic while cleaning out paper piled up over the past year. Little bits and pieces shoved in file folders, hence this comic, told the small story of what has transpired in 2018. Some of these pieces of paper showed where my “deck” chair was pointed. Every year I have blogged, I always look back on what happened in the year (What A Year It Has Been) and thought about the lesson or experiences I have encountered. Yet where was my deck chair facing? Was it facing backward instead of forwards?

I remember last year as I was riding the ferry all over the Puget Sound, I always found myself at the back of the boat as the ferry pulled away saying goodbye, but as the boat headed toward the new destination, it was in the front ready to greet whatever was to come once I stepped off the boat. Then there were times I was at the front of the boat looking at the horizon the whole time. The horizon the future, the port left the past.

The song Auld Lang Syne comes to mind around New Year’s Eve.

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.

The song is often used as symbolism to endings/new beginnings. New Year means new beginnings, hope for the future, hope for an answer long overdue, or a long waited for a goodbye to the past. Saying goodbye to the past year in the Scottish tradition reminds us to not have the past keep holding us back. Make a decision which way you want to greet the new year.

Yet the wax eloquent of Lucy’s statement to Charlie Brown hits into a deep recess of those of us who find ourselves standing one foot in the past and another foot in the future. You could say our deck chair is neither in one direction nor our cruise ship out of port.

telescope in front of body of water
Photo by allows the happiest face on Pexels.com

The deck chair facing which direction indicates where you want to go in life. Where you want to go this year. Facing the bow towards the future? Facing the stern towards the past? Or does the chair face in another direction? Is the new year a new beginning or is it an ending?  The deck chair is the decision we all must make about the new year ahead of us.

On the cruise ship of life, pull up a deck chair and decided in 2019 which way your deck chair is going to be facing. Where it is facing is where your year is going to go.