NO TO THEM IS A YES TO YOU
I feel very strongly about this post as it has been a tough lesson for me and because it was a tough one, the lesson was that much more rewarding.
We are conditioned into putting everyone else's expectations before our own needs which becomes toxic if we don't regulate it. Who regulates this? You do. You and only you.
How do you suppose you will achieve what you've set out to if you keep pouring from your own teacup to serve everyone else? Where should you pour from? The teapot, the overflow, the second cup is theirs. The first cup is yours and yours alone.
After spending some time at a wellness clinic, which wasn't my first choice because, as a single mother, I needed to work to provide and then, of course, I needed to be a mother which means that my kids needed me so there was no time to mess around, or so I thought.
The option to go to the clinic was presented to me and I agreed only on the condition that a) they didn't label me b) they didn't medicate me and c) they didn't keep me from seeing my children. As I settled in at first, all was good, until it wasn't. After the 1st week, my file was labeled, I was medicated and they suggested that I take a break from my kids for 2 weeks. 2 weeks!!! Are you insane? And then all the thoughts we think as we begin to unravel started to plague my already cluttered brain.
It was entirely my decision in the end and although I felt manipulated into making the decision, it was the best decision I could ever have made, not only for myself but even more so for my children at that particular time.
If you teach them right, kids will learn that in order for you to be there for them in all the ways that they need you to be, then they need to respect the time you take to restore your energy, whatever that may look like to you. Young children may not always understand but if you deliver the message with a pure heart and clear intention, they will undoubtedly innerstand.
The same goes for anyone else in your life, spouses, friends, family, work colleagues etc.
Recovering after my stay at the clinic looked a little like this in the beginning: Been invited to a venue with friends after a long, trying week? Old me would have said, "F*ck yes! I deserve a drink to escape the weeks trouble," besides which I would be struggling through some serious FOMO if I didn't go. New me would say, "Thank you for the invite but I'm busy this evening," being aware that I know how an evening like that would end or how I would feel the following day and knowing that it's just not worth it anymore. Having a drink is not the issue, the intention behind having the drink is what drained me.
Being invited to a family members house for a get together where there aren't necessarily a lot of people but becoming aware that I felt drained after being around particular people or places. Ever feel like that? Choose you and be honest about it, speak your truth. It wouldn't sound quite like, "thanks for the invite but f*ck no thanks, you are draining". It might sound more like, "I appreciate your invite but tonight I'd like to have some me time." It is not only honouring yourself but also teaching someone else how to do it, too and believe me, if the message is delivered gently, you become an influencer to those who want to do the same but just aren't sure how to.
Have you ever been asked to work over over time, as in, more than the overtime you're already putting in? It's ok to say no to the person that heads your team. Unless you have an extraordinary relationship with your colleague, it would not sound like, "Hm, sounds like a you problem dude, I've got shit to do," but it may sound more like "I appreciate that you trust me with this, however, I have after hour commitments."
If by saying no to others and yes to you loses people in your life along the way, then my dear, they are simply not your tribe - it's safe for you to move on. After all, what will be left of you to give to them or anybody else for that matter? Take the required time and put in the effort to fill your own cup.
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