Hey hey! Join us Monday November 30th at 3pm (EST) for a Facebook Live video on this topic! You may now click HERE to watch the Facebook Live video! I will also be answering questions, so feel free to ask via our Contact Page.
“After a multi-year battle in the courts, our son’s adoption finally went through. It’s funny how I decided to finally let go a few months before the final hearing. Little did I know, the next hearing would actually be the last. After numerous continuances and tense visitations, I had begun to expect it would never end, so again, I chose to let go even before it was over. A wise woman told me that victims often put their lives on hold waiting for the outcomes of a case; that information hit home. I kept saying, ‘if only this would get resolved, I could finally be happy’. It was time to let go of control in the midst of the chaos, and I did. I began to pursue dreams, which turned into plans. I learned that true freedom was in letting go of that overwhelming desire to control an outcome and accepting the wild cards life throws. I became much happier, healthier, level-headed, and likely more of a joy to be around!”
This experience begs the question… are you surviving or thriving? What are characteristics of each? So I did what any highly organized and perfectionistic person would do: I made a chart!
If you feel like you’re in the “surviving” category, you aren’t alone! The first step to change is realizing the pattern you’re in- getting out of denial. Take a look at where you are in your life and where you want to be. You get to choose, even now in the middle of your mess, the direction your life will take you. Do you feel trapped? Do you feel like running away? Do others constantly get on your nerves? All these are signs of being in fight, flight, freeze mode, and this is your chance to get out of it! Shake it off and live your life. It IS possible to do this even with a million things on your plate, but it takes intentional and careful work. It takes effort to put ourselves first when we are so used to giving ourselves, and unfortunately those closest to us, the leftover bits- the ugly moods, the harsh words, the frustration, the EXTREME exhaustion. Let me tell you, contrary to our natural inclination, we absolutely must put our happiness first at times because we can’t pour from an empty cup. Don’t feel guilty about the nap you need. Don’t feel guilty about that massage you need. Don’t feel guilty asking for help. Ask for that sitter just so you can take a bath in peace because you. are. worth. it. And honestly, taking care of yourself is the absolute best thing you can do for others.
Think of this from a parenting perspective- kids learn from our actions. We want lives of joy and fulfillment for our kids, right? How are they supposed to learn that if they constantly see us in a state of servitude to our jobs, other people, to… dare I say it… even our own children? As a recovering codependent, let me tell you something that blew my mind: it is okay to be selfish.
Okay, this GIF perfectly captures how I felt when I learned that information: a brief glimpse of excitement with a series of thoughts realizing that it is contrary to everything we have been taught since childhood- ewwww. No wonder we struggle with taking time for ourselves! It’s what we saw for years and are likely teaching to our kids without even realizing it! It’s YOUR moment to show them, and beyond the scope of kids- to show the world- that it’s okay to take time for yourself, to spend some money on yourself, to do things that make you happy because then they see your mood change. The world sees you starting to prioritize yourself and they want it for themselves. You’re allowed to have boundaries and so is everyone in your family. It’s okay to say you need some alone time, and it’s okay for your kids to say when they need down time. It’s okay for your partner to say they need some space or want to cool off before continuing a discussion. We feel like we can’t stop, but we can. Today is that first step in reclaiming yourself. Maybe this is a first! Either way, I wish you the best on this journey. I wish you peace within the chaos. And, as always, Anchoring Hope Counseling is here should you need a non-judgmental perspective in the process.