Following my post yesterday, I took some time to think about what was going on for me – why I was feeling so unhinged and what I could do about it.
Ok, I want to be honest with you, I spent most of the day feeling better for having shared my feelings but then did everything I could to avoid thinking about my experience. I listened to podcasts, read my book, put the TV on when I was cooking.
It wasn’t until a really close friend called me that I put down all the distractions I had been focused on and thought to myself ‘what the hell is going on’.
During our chat, I realised I’ve been doing so many things to bandage the hurt my heart feels without first looking at why it was hurting. You name it, I’ve been doing it – meditating, journaling, manifesting, exercising, breathing, thinking positively. Ok, maybe you can name other things that I haven’t been doing (I’m still not going near a yoga mat! :P) but I’ve been doing quite a lot to keep on track!
My beautiful, wise friend helped me hit the nail on the head, these activities, although lovely, great and good, are just plasters to mop myself up from the fatigue and the bruises I get from chronically putting other people first.
By this, I don’t mean running around after people and doing what they want – although this is part of my issue – as I’ve started to witness the beauty of JOMO (the joy of missing out!). Far more dangerously, I’ve been constantly putting the opinions (and my projections of people’s opinions), above my own and it hurts me so deeply. I think those of you who experience the same thing can attest to that, it’s exhausting and soul breaking.
I measure success by other people, I have trouble making decisions because I’m constantly second guessing if I’m right or not, I find it excruciating to do something knowing that others might not approve or may think less of me. Despite my manifesto pledge that ‘should is not in my vocabulary‘, I get bogged down by thinking what I should do (based on others not myself).
I mean, geez, I hate comedy because I can’t take the pressure of needing to find things funny and feeling uncomfortable. Seriously.
Even now I find myself needing to justify my thoughts to you, dear friend. Anticipating that you will be thinking ‘So what? It’s not like you’re alone in this struggle, we all experience this‘ which, in turn, invalidates the real and deep hurt that putting myself last brings.
As I write this, I feel my heart confirming that this is what is underneath…and I’m thankful for having come undone for the truth it has revealed.
So who will join me in putting themselves first?
Funnily enough, I don’t think this always means saying no to things (parties, events, opportunities), although please do feel free to join me on the JOMO train if you so wish! I think this means putting ourselves first behind closed doors but importantly in company to show ourselves it’s ok to be a priority in our own lives. As my clever friend said, most people are so caught up in their own crap that they won’t notice (i.e. let’s get over ourselves a bit!).
If you’d like to do this but not sure where to start…why not (as I will do doing):
- Voice preferences to friends and say what you want more – speak up and be present!
- Say you want to go home when you’re tired instead of waiting for someone else to make the first move
- Wear something not in fashion or opt for something a bit weird just because you like it!
- Plan a fun date day just for yourself and if you get invited to do something else, don’t automatically move your plans around to accommodate them (unless their idea is something you’d love to do!). If you want to do it, great! Go for it! If not, don’t justify why you can’t get involved.
- Don’t laugh at a friend’s joke if you don’t find it funny
- Thinking of something you always do begrudgingly and don’t do it for once
For some of you, these things will come naturally, but for others (like me!), these will be really, really hard. I can feel my throat close up at the thought of them but I think they are needed to prove to myself that I can come first, if only in my own life. I’m not going to bulldoze, tell countless people they’re not funny and be rude as that’s not who I am underneath, but I will start to do a few more things to put myself first just a little bit more.
The idea of where it could take me makes me so excited:
Feeling deeply proud of myself, being comfortable with my own decisions, doing more things on my terms, being free to be me, enjoying comedy!!!
I hope that sharing these things with you, dear one, helps you on your journey. Sharing it with you has sure helped me.