Each time I begin a new blog page, I look for a quote or saying to open with and be the guide of my topic. Today, I knew what I wanted to write about, patterns – breaking old patterns, creating new habits, learning a new healthy way; because this is something that is mandatory for me right now! So my quote today, is “Old ways won’t open new doors.” How fitting is that? I guarantee this doesn’t only apply to me. Every single one of us can relate to this in SOME way, no matter how story book your life may be. Have you ever lost those 5 lbs by eating a box of cookies and sitting on the couch? Have you ever finished a work project by calling in sick or not showing up? Did you get out of an unhealthy relationship (of any type) by allowing continuous disrespect? Have you changed your life by continuing the same old unhealthy habits? No.
This week I had doctor visits for my disability which I am required to do by the insurance company and frankly, I NEED. My family doctor oversees my case and care. I have seen him for 23 years, that’s over half of my life. He has known me my entire adult life and has been my only doctor since moving to Denver in 1993; suffice it to say, he knows me. He knows my history, he knows my habits. He’s not a therapist, but in my 20 minutes with him I get as much input and advice as I do from my hour long therapy visits, also required by insurance, but again, much needed. I am not ashamed to say that I need therapy. I have lived quite a life. Most people have no idea the details of my entire life! Even the girls I grew up with through middle/high school years don’t truly know the extent of what went on in my house, even though they were right outside my door. They have no idea what I went through at home during those years, or the years before. These are just things that you don’t share. I was already “the freak” because of my family! I do know that many of them were not allowed at my house because my family was known as “that family”, the weird ones. It was unfit, not safe, etc. This was hurtful…and I was honestly clueless. I had no idea that we were so different. I was a kid; a clueless teenager and I just wanted to be part of the crowd (which I was) and be “normal” which I tried, but I wasn’t. I believed it was me. I thought my friends’ parents didn’t like me. It wasn’t me…it was my family. The problem was, I was part of the family and we were one. There was no differentiation between me and the family. This enhanced some very unhealthy patterns for me that I had already began to develop years before.
As far back as I can remember, I have always tried to please people. I have always tried to make people like me, I have cared what people thought. We should care what people think, but not to the extent that I have. For years, I based my entire worth on what others think of me. That is SO WRONG!!! I know this comes from my abandonment issues, but it’s something we are exploring in therapy. Inside, I know who I am. I am a very beautiful, caring, capable and smart person. When I say beautiful, I mean inside – outward appearance does not matter. I know what my heart is. I know how much I love people and how much I want and enjoy others feeling good. The problem with this, is that I have often altered my behavior to create these good feelings for people and not taken myself and my own feelings into consideration. Today, one of my doctors asked me how I am filling my days while I am off work. I explained what I’ve been doing – volunteering, collecting donations for shelters, attending fundraisers, networking events; doing whatever I can to stay busy with positive actions and make a difference. My doc says while that is awesome and productive, it’s not for ME. He asked what I do for ME. It turns out that I do not really do much of anything for myself. It also turns out that I don’t know what I really enjoy doing for myself because I always do what others want to do. So this begs the following questions…what DO I like to do? What do I enjoy? What do I want to do? Good questions, right?? I wonder if we all know what that is. I can’t be the only one that doesn’t take time for themselves and feels this way!
Recognizing the patterns that have put you in the position you are in is so incredibly important. You cannot make the change if you don’t identify the problem. This is not an easy task! I talked early on about this very thing and having this conversation with my trainer, and creating a bucket list. I have yet to start this bucket list yet I’ve been unable to answer this question of “What do you enjoy doing?” not once, but twice in less than two months! That’s crazy. I love to make others happy. I love to do for other people. It’s time for me to do for me, and my daughter. I do a lot for her already, but I can definitely tell you that she has suffered over the past few years and paid the price for my own lack of fulfillment. Doing for her makes me happy too. I love her more than any other person on this earth. BUT, still, this HAS to be about me right now. No matter how selfish it may feel, if I don’t fill myself back up and start feeling worthy again, I won’t have it for anyone else. Let that sink in you guys, FILL YOURSELF UP. It’s not selfish!! It’s mandatory!! You can’t genuinely help anyone else if you aren’t 100%! Nobody will value you if you don’t value yourself.
My challenge to you – I want to see your bucket lists! Or at least a few things that you enjoy doing, for YOU. Not like me, something you’ve done for others that makes you feel good, but truly things you do for YOU! Here are a few things that I enjoy that I vow to do for myself over the next two weeks:
- Workout – hard! Time to find my motivation again
- Yoga, empowering events
- Crafting, sewing, making holiday items (I don’t want to hate the holidays this year!)
- Travel, I want to take a trip for myself (besides our family trip)
- Drive to the mountains and just enjoy the view
- Spa day – work on myself!
I would love to see your comments, this is hard for me! Ideas of things I like to do elude me at the time…your ideas may inspire me, remind me of things I forgot about! And I would love to hear what you will commit to in the next two weeks. Let’s do this together!! I know if you are reading my blog, you must have some interest in the work I am doing on myself and also want to do some on yourself. So join me, share with me! I will be writing about each of these things as they come along over the next couple of weeks. First thing on my list, tomorrow I am attending a yoga event at Red Rocks with an emphasis on empowering women – one of my very favorite things to do!! Major work on myself! Monday, my sewing machine goes to the shop for a tune up! From there I continue…
I am changing my patterns, one way or another. Things don’t happen on their own, you have to make them to happen. Take a long hard look at your history; determine what has made you who and how you are, if you can, and take hold of your opportunities; move on them. Nobody will care about you the way you want them to, except you. This may sound rough or cold, but I choose to make a difference. I’m tired of being disappointed. I choose to break the pattern and “fix” my life for the second half. I want to let go of the history and create a real future. Who I love can participate or move on. Period. I choose ME.