I am going to share the top three things I have learned on my life's journey, which I call my healing journey. I call it my healing journey, because according to one definition of healing in Merriam-Webster 'to heal' is "to make sound or whole". To me, both soundness and wholeness imply growing into my full, authentic self. This can also be described as thriving in life, not just surviving it. I encourage comments, thoughts, and even challenges, so please read my top three 'life hacks'.
1) You don't owe anyone anything more than you can give to yourself.
Possibly juxtaposed to everything your parents and or religion taught you is the idea I present to you. That is, learning to satisfy your own needs, wants and desires for love, warmth, and unconditional acceptance affords you something you don't have when you seek to deny yourself of these and serve others. It affords you the full presence of your calm, authentic self when you do show up for others. When your energy is made available to fully be in your own personal power, loving who you are, providing care for yourself, you no longer show up for others for any reason other than to love them as they are.
In all other cases, you show up for others for one of the following reasons:
a) to be accepted by others &/or a deity
b) to feel like you are 'good enough' ( good enough to live, to be, to be happy, to get into heaven, to be okay, or anything of the like).
c) to feel better (less anxious, happier, proud of yourself)
d) to earn someone else's approval
e) to show others that you are worthy of being loved, and thus (maybe not even consciously) you hope someone will find you worthy of being loved
You are worthy of love, and you owe it to yourself to show yourself. From that place of giving to yourself, feeling healed and fully loved and accepted by you, then you are full, and can give to others in ways that being fully healed affords.
2) You don't have to always be your best; you just have to be the best you can be at that moment.
I don't know about you, but I was taught "do your best". In fact, whenever I failed, the implication was that I did not do my best, either in preparation or practice, or in the moment. From a healing perspective, I would like to offer the idea that we are all doing our best at any given moment. Ah, you say, as you offer me contradictory examples...you say, "I was watching TV, but I could have been doing the dishes or reading to my children. That would have been doing my best." Okay, Let me clarify.
My very best organizational skills were apparent when I was studying for my master's degree, and the most patience I showed toward my children was the year I did not have to work outside the home. But, that year I was in school or not in a job, there was no family vacation. There also was a lot of arguing with my husband, because money was very tight. The year my dad was sick, I could not concentrate at all, and even though I CAN be highly organized, I could not 'get organized'.
You see, doing your best right now, may not look like doing your best at another time. Doing your best means you are at this very moment, only capable of what you are capable of right now - not what you could have done if the situation was different. Just right now, given what is going on in life, just doing what you can. That's it. That's allowing yourself grace and healing.
3) You do not have to explain why you make the decisions you make; and, in reverse, others don't owe you any explanation for their decisions.
How may times do you only say, "No" to an engagement, social gathering or assignment at work when you have a "reason" (real or fictitious). Have you tried saying, "No", when you want to say it, and giving no reason or excuse? Just "No". You do not have to have a reason, nor do you owe anyone an explanation. Again, this may go against what you were taught growing up. However, I challenge you to give yourself permission to just give your preference without explaining yourself. Healing is making a decision with no explanation needed. You get to decide, period.