I am upset, I am sad and I need you to be open minded and try and change your perspective, even for just for a moment!
A friend of mine posted something on Facebook the other day. I thought it was a proud, powerful, you-go-girl moment… it turned out, she was shut down and made to feel bad for standing up and doing what was best for her. Now, what she said (in my opinion) wasn’t meant to be hurtful, she did not tag anyone specific, she wasn’t angry and hostile. She simply made a statement that her friends and fellow women should have supported, not shot down and made to feel guilty for making a stand and putting herself first.
I am sad because in this crazy, mean, competitive, judging world, I feel like we should always be able to count on our friends to support us and encourage us to be better, or just to be us and to let us know we can be OK with that. Unfortunately, people are so sensitive and afraid that someones feelings might get hurt, they shame others for standing up for themselves and knowing what their boundaries are. (and sticking to them!)
I’ve had it! And I will yell it from the rooftop:
IT IS OK TO HAVE BOUNDARIES AND TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
I have always been the person who did anything for anyone, just because it is the right thing to do. I worried about what people thought about me, I would put on whatever face I thought I needed so I would be accepted. I would get walked on and used and still I craved acceptance from these people. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself and tell people the truth about your feelings and what you need or want. I still struggle with this, but I have gained confidence in the last couple years that I never thought I’d have. I have been trying, and am getting better about doing what serves me and aligns with my values, not just what is best for everyone else.
Are you doing what serves you?
It is SO important to take care of ourselves, if we don’t… who will? As women, (and especially mommies) we tend to put everyone else’s wants and needs above ourselves on the list of important things. Other peoples feelings are more important, schedules are more important, their everything is more important. Let me ask you this: when you get on an airplane and they go through their safety routine before the flight, they tell you to take the oxygen first if something should happen. Is this because they want you to be selfish?! NO – it’s because if you’re dead, what good are you to everyone else?! The same goes for you in your day-to-day life! If you are stressed, miserable, ‘over worked and underpaid’ so to speak, what does that mean for your family and your other responsibilities?
It has become the norm to judge others for taking care of themselves. I can’t tell you all the looks I get when I say the kids and I went for a 3 mile run/bike ride or that I go to a gym or when I eat at someones house and they say “I know you probably won’t like this, I don’t have time to make things from scratch.” They think they are being nice and noticing my lifestyle, when really, that is more offensive than if you say nothing. You are judging my way of life, the difference is, I don’t judge you for the choices you make and if you want to change your lifestyle, I’m here to support you! There is a negative attitude in general for caring for yourself, which boggles my mind.
Be Selfish, TODAY
I challenge you to do something, today, that serves you. Do something for yourself that no one else can do for you and make sure it is something that aligns with your values and purpose. (note: I’m not suggesting you ignore your responsibilities or go out of your way to make someone else’s day inconvenient) What is something you have been saying you really want or need to do, but have been putting off because you don’t have time, energy, etc.? Working out? Taking a nap? Taking a bubble bath? Reading the rest of the book you started a year ago? No excuses, no guilt, no stress…
I am giving you permission to just be you, to put your needs first, to make yourself a priority… even if it is only for 10 minutes. Lock yourself in the bathroom with a good book if you need to, tell you spouse you need some time, call a friend, I don’t care but you have to take care of your needs if you expect to be able to take care of other people’s needs. It is just a fact.
This does NOT make you “selfish” it means you have self-love and self-respect… no guilt!
Remember who is watching
It has been said “it is not what you do for your kids, but what you teach them to do for themselves that will make them successful in life” and I think that simple quote sums up this whole post. You can help your kids, friends, and family, you can give them advice and take care of them, but unless you are taking care of yourself – you are useless to them. You have nothing to offer. Your kids will do as they see, not as you say. If you tell them to eat their broccoli, but you don’t – they won’t. If you tell them to go play outside because it is beautiful out and it is good exercise, but you sit on your ass and watch TV – they will want to sit and watch TV, too! If you go for a bike ride or walk to the park… your kids will want to do those things too. You have to take care of yourself if you want to take care of “them”.
Sometimes people have to go
There will always be people in your life who are toxic and will try to bring you down or try to control you so they feel better about themselves or their situation. You need to have the confidence to pick up and say NO. Say no without guilt, say no with self-respect. Do NOT tell yourself that you are being a good friend for sticking around, that you will help them, that you will change them. You will not. You cannot change people, they have to change themselves. Have enough love for yourself to know when enough is enough and walk away. It will be OK, I promise. It may not be easy, but you need to take care of you.
A funny thing happens when you make that decision to love yourself… other people have more love, respect and acceptance of you, too. People will look at you differently, they will be inspired, they will smile more. I promise you… there is nothing better in this world than having the courage to love yourself.
What are you going to do for YOU today? Tweet it out!
Leave your thoughts in the comments and as always, please share this with your friends and family – you never know who might need to hear this right now. Thank you, love!
Love, Acceptance and Joy