“Don’t wait for the dam to break before doing something with your life,” Dennis Franks. There are moments in life where you have to make a decision to either continue how things are or to shake up the course. You have to decide what matters and you have to go after it. You know that it means giving up what you knew in favor of what’s coming. For many of us who suffer with mental health issues, we spend a majority of the time bottling up what we feel and think in favor of making others happy. We lose touch with who we are in favor of what others want us to be. We hold back everything we are because we are so deeply afraid of being rejected. And then the resentment can explode.
We are often waiting for the right moment, a spot in time that makes our desires “ok” where someone won’t be upset or where they will be magically answered somehow. Or like I said earlier, we hold it back so long we end up exploding. We don’t have to wait until we can’t stand it any longer. No. As scary as it is, there is something we can do. And maybe scary isn’t the right word—it’s more a waiting for permission. We don’t need permission to live our lives, we are just trained to believe that we need someone else to tell us it’s ok. The point is, we don’t want to become so overwhelmed with the idea of what we are supposed to do that we pass up on what we are meant to do.
The truth is we are not taught to balance our lives in a way that fulfills our needs and we are certainly not taught honest communication. We are taught manipulation that we call communication and we are taught to stifle the truth in favor of someone else’s feelings. Or we place our expectations on others and then get frustrated when they aren’t met. So in order to avoid that, we need to get honest about our own expectations and get familiar with our needs. We need to act before we explode or gloss over our entire lives. We can’t let opportunities pass us by and miss what we need to learn in favor of thinking we know it all. There is a place inside that tells us when enough is enough. Listen to it.
The real point of this is to do the work before we are so worn out that we can’t do anything else. You wouldn’t let your house fall down around you, you can’t let yourself fall apart either. Do the maintenance. Do the things that recharge you and make you feel good. Do the things that make you come alive. And beyond that, get in touch with the parts of you that need healing—all of them. And work on loving those parts—all of them. Keep yourself strong not just for yourself, but for your sanity and to keep yourself on point to fulfill your purpose. The world needs your light and your gift and you can only do that when you’re functioning at your peak.
So check in often and create self-awareness in whatever way it takes. Whether it’s meditation or trying new things or reaching out to help a friend or even learning to set boundaries with family or friends, do whatever it takes to recognize what works for you, what needs some work, and where you’re going. Don’t let yourself fall apart for the sake of someone else. That is their baggage to carry and you don’t need to waste your time on resentment because it won’t change anything. Life is short, my friends. There is no reason to waste a second of it in shambles. You have the power. Take it back.