Well, here it is, it’s Sunday night, and I’m sitting at my desk, looking at a beautiful bouquet of flowers, sent to me by a suitor, whom…I have absolutely no romantic interest in.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Recently here — as in the last couple weeks or so — I’ve learned a very important lesson. I’ve grown, you could say.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s the new year, or that I’m finally following the advice of my brilliantly in-tune parents, but lately here, I have become incredibly…honest.
You see, growing up as a perpetual people pleaser, not only did it contribute to the anorexia in my past, but it has also resulted in this crippling mindset of never wanting to let anyone down. And as a result, I will “go with the flow” and often put my needs and wants second to whomever I’m trying to appease.
Hence why there’s a $75 dollar bouquet of roses on my dining table right now…because I was reluctant to tell this guy I wasn’t interested for fear of hurting his feelings.
But slowly, I’ve been working to end that self-sabotaging way of living.
Recently — I’ve spoken my position with bouquet boy and set a boundary for friendship only. I’ve spoken my heart with a person, and allowed my vulnerability to come through, even though it was incredibly scary. And I’ve advocated for myself and the needs my body has by saying a healthy two letter word: No.
And you know what? It felt incredibly freeing.
You see, at the end of the day, when I put my head on my pillow, I have to sleep, knowing that I either, a) listened to and respected my needs and boundaries. Or b) neglected the self-respect necessary to do so.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m growing up, but I’ve come to realize that I cannot be everything to everybody. Doing what is right for me, is not selfish or self-centered or egotistical, but rather, necessary to be a full, functioning, multifaceted individual.
I was talking with a friend earlier today, and this person was discussing how he feels guilty for taking a vacation and being away from his patients.
And I told him that, he should view this vacation — this period of soul recharge — as part of a necessary routine of self care. Because the thing is, especially in his line of work, you simply cannot give from an empty cup.
If you’re going to positively impact people around you, and be the best parent, or friend, or teacher, or boss, or whatever — you have to be personally filled up to be able to do so to the best of your ability.
And of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean taking a ten-day vacation in the Swiss Alps, but rather, living from a mindset of self-respect.
And advocating for your needs, boundaries, and feelings, is definitely a huge component of such self-respect.
Now, granted, there is of course, only One true source who can fill our cups completely, and make them overflow — and that is Jesus.
But even He knew the importance of honesty and self-respect.
I mean, just look at how he retreated to pray — in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, on the mountainside, in the desert — Jesus knew the importance of respecting his need for solitude, and tapping into the Source of strength, through prayer.
But back to the flowers.
Honestly, I wish I’d have started speaking up for myself sooner. Because the truth is, it has been so fulfilling. So freeing. So empowering. So, just…good.
I feel strong. And like I’m truly listening to my body and its needs — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
There is nothing more important than honesty. Especially when it comes to you.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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