Self Care

Today’s trip to the doctor was like being dropped on my head.  There is nothing like having someone hold a mirror to your face and show you how much you have been lacking.  I knew but for whatever reason it wasn’t real until day.

I went for my back pain which has been an issue since I was rear ended in 2010. While I was waiting to be seen I noticed the scale in the hall.  I forgot about that part.  I don’t weigh myself at home.  I measure myself but I stay off the scale.  I knew the scale was going to reflect a number seemingly unhealthy for my height.  I was dreading it.  When it was my turn, I hadn’t quite decided if I would look.  Once I got on the scale, my breasts decided for me lol.  I couldn’t see past them to the number on the scale.  I contorted so I could see.  Then I tried to justify the number.  It can’t be right.  My movement could’ve threw it off.  Plus I was wearing shoes…and layers…

Then it was time for my vitals.  Anxiety hit again.  Would my blood pressure be elevated? Then I start thinking about strokes, heart attacks, medications.  By the time the doctor came in.  I had lost focus on my back and started thinking about everything else.

What was the outcome? Well the short version is, things that once came easy now have to be worked towards. Is that the answer I want? No. However, it is what it is.  If I want to be healthy I have to constantly work towards health. I have to work harder to combat family history.  I cannot neglect self care.

I already know some days will be harder than others.  I also know the payoff will be well worth it.

Love May Be Blind

Love May Be Blind
But It’s Not Deaf Dumb and Stupid
By: Shira Bethea*

You can have all the fun you want with unconditional love but my love for others has conditions. It may seem unkind to you but it is my unconditional self love that allows me to love others with conditions. Does that sound selfish? Let me explain. I have learned to walk away from situations that were detrimental to my well being. I can love you forever, from a distance if need be. When the company of another negatively impacts me spiritually, emotionally, or physically; ties must be broken. I can love someone and still recognize the need to be apart. It is no easy task to part ways with someone you love. There are times though when it is very much necessary.

I don’t know if love ever ends. Part of me thinks a person can only stop loving someone they never truly loved in the first place. I believe in order to truly love another person, you must first love yourself. Spending time alone helped me a great deal. Self examination is powerful. I continue to examine myself daily. It is a never ending process. It allows me to recognize and acknowledge my gifts as well as my flaws. Having that self awareness helps me to recognize others that see the same in me. Oftentimes people end up in relationships with people they “love” but those people don’t even recognize or appreciate their gifts. Equally disappointing is being with someone who only recognizes your flaws.

If you follow my blog, you already know my stance on soul mates. ( Ideally you want to be with someone who recognizes both your gifts and your flaws. Someone who only sees your gifts is likely looking at you with an unrealistic view. That’s fine if you want to be with someone who is out of touch with reality. I don’t. I recognize the flaws in the people I love and they certainly recognize mine. The beauty in it is we continue to love each other despite those flaws. They are not at all deal breakers. In some cases those very flaws make us even more lovable. I don’t believe in looking to another person for completion. If you do not feel whole alone, you may be more likely to settle for hurtful behaviors in someone you believe you love.

Love does not hurt. Love uplifts. Love encourages. Love positively motivates. I will release anyone or anything from my life that emits negative energy. Once a pattern of anything resembling disloyalty or disrespect is displayed, it’s a wrap. Those behaviors are often deliberate. However there may be times when someone is oblivious to their behavior or more so the affects of said behavior. I find in some of those cases resolution is as simple as a conversation. Take a good look at the people you keep in your life. Think about how you met, how you interact, how you contribute to each others betterment. I am a firm believer in hand selecting the people that surround you. A few years ago I took a good look at my surroundings and realized that some of the people in my life were there only because they had always been there; not because I actively selected them. There may be people that come into your life without an invitation and there are people they may have had an invitation at one time but have overstayed or taken advantage and are no longer welcomed. Perhaps you can relate. It could be neighbors, coworkers, or even family members that are in your life simply due to vicinity but if you met the person under different circumstances you likely would not choose to keep in touch.

When selecting those to keep in your inner circle, balance needs to be found between holding someone to an impossible standard and settling for less than what is deserved. You should honestly be able to say that you meet the very standards that you are holding others to. That goes back to self examination. Once you have been able to examine yourself, find your happiness within yourself, and love yourself; identifying people that deserve to be in your life will be easy. It will also become easy to walk away from people that are selfish and self serving; people that do not meet your conditions. I hope this helps you to understand exactly what I mean when I say that my love has conditions. It has nothing to do with displaying kindness. I try my best to display kindness as well as a brotherly/sisterly love to all those that I meet. I just know that everyone that wants to be close to me will not get the opportunity if my standards are not met. Actively selecting those close to me is imperative to my happiness. I will dive deeper into the subject in my next piece entitled “Redirecting Your Focus-Finding Your Happiness.”

*previously published in Formation Magazine