Make Yourself A Priority.

It’s realizing maybe the reason you aren’t where you want to be or feel the way you do, is because you haven’t taken the steps to get there yourself when you’re constantly focusing on other things and people.

It’s looking yourself in the mirror and accepting the fact you made these choices, and you can’t blame anyone if you aren’t happy or fulfilled.

It’s looking at your life and instead of pointing blame, it’s finally taking responsibility.

It’s feeling a little confused because once you realize making other people happy hasn’t made you happy, you have to figure out what does and you might not even know that answer.

It’s sitting down and trying to figure out what you want while trying to evaluate and eliminate the things you don’t want.

It’s removing certain people from your life because you have to for your own wellbeing, even if you love them, care about them, and can’t imagine your life without them, sometimes distance and space is better.

It’s stopping instead of running from your problems because you know you can’t escape the things you are denying to be the truth, and you can’t distract yourself from what the problem is. But you are at a point where you want to find a solution.

It’s doing something you don’t want to, because that choice is going to put you on a track you’re proud of, not one you’re settling for.

It’s asking yourself “am I doing this because I want to?” “Or am I doing this because I feel I have to and I don’t want to let other people down?”

It’s not feeling guilty to admit you need a break or you’re tired and just need to relax for once.

It’s staying in on a Friday because you look at your bank account and you don’t even know what you spent on stuff, but you know you should’ve been more responsible. It’s waking up early and not pushing snooze on your alarm 100 times because going to the gym, getting that run in, doing yoga is good for your mental health and well-being. And even though you don’t want to do it, in that moment you know you have to.

It’s finally wanting to take full responsibility for how you feel about yourself and not allowing others to define your self-worth.

It’s ending those relationships that linger and have loose ends because you can’t keep giving chances to people who don’t deserve it.

It’s not answering when someone from the past comes back because don’t care about what they say, because they shouldn’t have left in the first place.

It’s not always being the one to make plans with everyone and go all the way for them every time. It’s realizing people should be putting as much effort into you as you have them, instead of taking the relationship for granted.

It’s checking in the people who check in on you because those are the people who matter.

It’s putting your phone down when you want to text someone because you are realizing the phone works both ways and the only person you should be interested in isn’t one who makes you question your self-worth or question a simple text.

It’s holding back on dating because if you don’t know who you are and what you want, you won’t know what to ask other people for.

It’s figuring out what you want and not being ashamed of it or feeling guilty for wanting something more than just a hookup.

It’s letting that really attractive person go even though you’re interested because you know you can’t turn them into the person you want them to be, and you aren’t going to waste your effort.

Feeling through these emotions you might have repressed and it’s finally coming out, isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t make you weak.

Sometimes it takes strength to get to that place emotionally and feel through all the ugliness so it’s out of your system.

It’s realizing the life you are leading at this moment isn’t the one that’s making you happy, so something has to change.

It’s taking a step towards a completely different lifestyle that you or others are used to. Even though there are going to be questions of why you are doing this and people who will doubt you and disapprove, you know you’re doing it for you. It’s not longer feeling guilty for disappointing people for living the life you want as oppose to the one they expect.

It’s realizing when you make certain changes in your life you’re going to lose people who are going to want you to go back to what you were doing and the person you were because it didn’t fit the mold of what they needed and wanted. But the real relationships in your life will support you.

It’s not selfish to want to be happy and want to have a life you’re really excited about. It’s essential.

It’s learning how to let something or someone go because you’ve outgrown it, and even though good memories resided there, you can’t keep looking back.

It’s evaluating your life and your choices and calling it exactly what it is. Your mistakes. Your failures. The things you did your ashamed of and instead of throwing a pity party, you learn. You grow. You forgive yourself because as much as other people deserve forgiveness, you do too.

It’s realizing you can’t force things. Whether that’s relationships or a lifestyle.

It’s giving everything your best effort, but accepting that some things aren’t meant to be even if you want them to be.

Then once you realize this isn’t where I’m supposed to be, you find the courage to change it because people aren’t meant to stay in the same place doing the same thing. Especially if it’s not making them happy.

When a plant doesn’t thrive and grow the way it’s supposed to, you don’t blame the plant you, simply change the environment to one it will do well in. That’s how you should approach everything in your life.

It’s taking a step back and looking at the life you are projecting out to the world across social media and asking yourself “is any of this real?” It’s pulling back if that answer is no and trying to create a life you don’t need to fake.

And it isn’t wrong to want to be happy.It’s saying no for the first time in your life and not explaining why.

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Find & Love Yourself Again.

It’s okay to feel a little lost sometimes. Like you look at yourself and you’re just unsure.

Maybe people have made you feel that way. Like it’s you that’s doing something wrong.

Maybe you’ve loved others so hard and didn’t get it reciprocated that you forgot what loving yourself even felt like.

You say and do everything they want you to, and then you realize you don’t even know what you want anymore.

You’ve clung to toxic relationships and relationships that really weren’t healthy for you, in an attempt to keep it alive, but all it did was pull you more away from yourself.

It’s hard to lose yourself to someone you try desperately to keep.

You start to fall out of love with the person you become because suddenly you are jumping through hoops to try to keep the attention of someone who was never going to be impressed in the first place.

You lose your self-worth and sense of self-respect loving people too hard. When you are willing to do anything for them regardless of how they treat you, they lose respect for you too.

Suddenly your happiness is associated with them. Then you realize as they come and go it affects your emotions much more than it should.

And when they leave, it almost feels like you lost yourself because you invested so much into them.

When someone leaves and you see it more of a loss to you than it is to them, that’s when you have to reevaluate your relationship with yourself.

And you can spend a lot of time trying to understand and you’ll never get those answers you are looking for. Or you can simply accept what is and let go of what isn’t and try to move forward understanding sometimes the first steps begins with evaluating the person looking back at you in the mirror.

If you want to improve your relationships, improve the relationship you have with yourself first.

It’s okay to lose yourself to people and relationships but once you do, you are left with two choices: you can either look back at who you were, or you can let go of that person entirely and become someone you are proud of.

The past is supposed to shape you and help you to learn, it isn’t supposed to haunt you.

Learning to fall back in love with yourself won’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

1. You have to learn to forgive.

And it’s not just forgiving someone who hurt you, it’s forgiving yourself for allowing someone to have that much control over your happiness and wellbeing.

2. It’s taking ownership of your life.

Realizing all of it comes down to you and how you react to things, not someone else. Realizing someone else’s choices of whether they stay or go, love you, or choose not to shouldn’t reflect how you feel about yourself.

It’s realizing while you were pointing at everyone else, you should have been pointing at yourself because no one can fix you, no one can love you, no one can teach you how to be happy if you don’t figure it out for yourself.

3. It’s about letting go.

Let go of the past. Let go of the people who burned you. Let go of everything that never worked out instead of letting it bottle up inside you. Let go of negativity, self-doubt, and pain. Because sometimes we hurt ourselves without realizing we are the ones doing it.

4. It’s about redefining self-worth & self-love in ways you never have before.

It’s taking a step back and realizing maybe you aren’t ready for a relationship and even if you meet someone you might be interested in, you don’t jump into it because you don’t want to fall back into the pattern of allowing a relationship to define your worth.

It’s listening closely to the way you talk to yourself and changing the conversation when it’s negative. It’s looking at your reflection and not being fixated on your flaws and things you can’t change, but looking at a trait you admire and giving yourself a compliment.

It’s taking a step back and instead of building everyone up like you are used to, you realize you are special too.

Then you get to a point where those relationships that hurt you and didn’t work out, you realize it happened because you deserve better.

But you had to realize that yourself first. You had to give your all. You had to lose yourself to someone else. You had to fall apart and pick up the pieces of a broken heart that only tried to find love to fix themselves only to realize fixing yourself happens not in the arms of someone else or in the love you find, but rather the love you find within yourself first.

And it’s only then you can really say “I’m ready for a relationship.”

5. It’s looking back without regrets.

It’s when you realize you don’t have to try as hard as you did in the past to impress someone because your time and attention is worth more than any gestures trying to prove your worth.

It’s looking in the past, the backflips you did trying to impress someone and you aren’t angry or bitter, you’re just happy to not be at that place anymore where you feel you have to overcompensate to keep someone.

It’s looking at your relationships and suddenly having the self-respect to only choose people who choose you, and you let go of the rest not thinking those who leave is a loss to you anymore or something you’ve done wrong.

It’s accepting that some relationships will never work out no matter how hard you try.

6. It’s learning to love yourself.

For exactly who you are. For exactly how hard you’ve loved. For exactly how hard you’ve tried both to get it right and make yourself right. Because you’ve never stopped trying to improve.

Love the person you were even if in that moment you didn’t. Because it takes a very special person to love others when they haven’t quite figured it out themselves. It takes a very special person to give all of themselves to a point you feel lost.

And it takes an even greater person to pick themselves up after that and try to find out the person they want to be when it hurts to realize you don’t know those answers.

Because you walk away from all this learning, learning about the person you were, understanding why you felt the need to try as hard as you did, and realizing you’re never going to be that person again or do that, that’s what it is all about.

It’s taking a step back and standing still, when in the past you might have run towards someone a little too quickly and letting them come to you.

When you learn to fall back in love with yourself, you learn to attract the right type of person. And it’s that person who will give you the love you pined after, the love you tried too hard to give, the love you’ve wanted for so long.

But to get a great love means saving some for yourself. Because when you love too much, it leaves you empty. When the love you give is even, you’ll never feel like you’ve lost yourself to it.

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You’ll Look Back And Realize…

She’s the type of girl you won’t appreciate at first. One who will try too hard and always be available. The type of girl who is easy to read because she’s honest, blunt, and forward. It won’t feel like much when you have her time and attention because she gives it to you so easily.

She’s the type of girl you won’t get too excited about because you’re never wondering about how she feels. She’s the one who answers quickly. Initiates plans. Invites you everywhere. Tries too hard.

And at first, you are going to realize she’s different. That she deserves to be treated with the same respect you haven’t even earned yet, but she gives it away for free.

In beginning, you are going to treat her well. And in return, she’s going to treat you better and try harder and just continue to give like it looks easy. Because to her, it is. She naturally thinks about others before herself and it’s admirable.

Then suddenly this quality you admire and respect you’ll take for granted. The calls you used to answer, the texts you’d respond to quickly suddenly there’s a shift in you. Suddenly you have her figured out and yes she’s different but she’s so easy to read, you know what move she’s going to make and what she’s going to say even before she says it.

She’s nice. She cares. She isn’t afraid to show it.

And then you suddenly become like the rest of them. Even though you swore you never would treat her as badly as others might have, you start to. You realize no matter how you treat her she doesn’t react to it. She just keeps being exactly who she is. And that’s a different type of challenge for you. Because part of you wants to test her and get to her. So you try to and now you are playing games and messing with her head and being a complete asshole because you want to see how much you can push her until she breaks.

She’s not naive and she’s not stupid. She knows exactly what you are doing. And even though she likes you, even these type of girls get to point where they get tired of trying so hard. She’ll fade from your life a little slowly. Then when you do think about her, you realize you haven’t spoken in a while. But when you reach out and she answers again quickly, there’s a shift there.

Suddenly she’s not caring to keep the conversation going. She suddenly stops trying and investing emotions and effort into you. She stops going out of her way. She stops inviting you everywhere. Because even girls like this realizes some people aren’t worth it.

Then this girl who you spoke to every day slowly becomes this stranger. And the conversation is cordial but awkward.

Then it hits you, you’re standing in the same room as her and she feels like a stranger. You miss her even though she’s so close to you, but emotionally far away.

She’s gone, but in haunting close kind of way.

Then you start to miss her.

You’ll look back and realize you didn’t appreciate her or value her the way she deserved. Because despite being shown the bad sides to you, you realize she always saw the good.

You’ll look back to every lie and excuse you ever told and you realize how understanding and tolerant she was of your BS.

You’ll look back and realize she probably deserved so many sorry’s, but she never even asked for it or cared.

You’ll look back at everything she ever did for you and you realize you didn’t even invest half that effort into her.

You’ll look back at how many times you said no but when you asked her to be somewhere or do something, she always said yes and was there.

You’ll look back and realize you weren’t kind to her and she never gave you a taste of your own medicine.

You’ll look back and realize she really did love you unconditionally and support you in everything you did.

You’ll look back and realize what you put her through, yet she still came out wearing her heart on her sleeve loving really hard when you gave her every reason not to.

You’ll look back and realize as she tried to prove she deserved you, she’s the one that deserves better.

And even if it takes a while to get over you because it will, she will love again. And it’s going to be a person who realizes what they have when they have it, not someone who has to lose her to realize her worth.

You’ll see them together and you’ll see how happy he makes her and you’ll remember when that used to be you who had every bit of her time, attention, and heart. She smiles bigger. She’ll laugh harder. She’ll hold his hand a little more tightly when you’re around. Because the truth is, she loved you, cared about you, and did everything she was supposed to and it still wasn’t enough.

You’ll find yourself in moments overcome with jealousy you don’t even have right to feel because it could have been you. It should have been you. But she couldn’t keep waiting for you to realize what she knew all along.

She’ll move one because she had to. And she’ll become happy because she deserves to. And she’ll fall in love because finally, that love she gave to you so carelessly finally came back to her.

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Worry.

I worry a lot. When I lost my job shit was getting scary. Things like “what if I can’t pay my bills?” and “why can’t I find work?” went through my head. I freaked out, but as it turned out, the solution to my excessive worries was easier than I expected. Many of us worry about all kinds of things: Work, relationships, money, health. Some concerns are real, but many are unnecessary.

No matter what kind of worry you have, the response in your body is always the same: It increases your cortisol levels.

Let’s face it: If you don’t stop worrying, you will die. That’s not me talking. That’s your body talking.

In the past year and a half, I’ve studied worry, stress, fear and anxiety almost every day. My findings? Don’t try to relieve stress and worry, but eradicate it. Address it head on.

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Relief Doesn’t Work

This is what most people do when they experience stress and worry:

  • Take it out on your partner or family
  • Drink alcohol, take drugs, or both
  • Binge-watch Netflix
  • Play video games
  • Go on a vacation
  • Party all night
  • Have sex

Be honest, how long do these things make you forget about your worries? 10 minutes, half hour, a day? It doesn’t last. As soon as you get back to the reality of your life, worry and stress smack you in the face.

Distracting yourself from your life doesn’t work and yet, many of us keep doing it. I’ve read many articles on this behavior. Some say it’s because we have too much free time, some say it’s because of culture, some say it’s because how we are wired.

To be honest, it’s not important to understand the why. We just have to look at the facts: People worry too much, and that can destroy your life. It’s more important to focus your attention on addressing worry.

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” ― Marcus Aurelius

Turn Worry Into Constructive Process

Worry is often about the future. It goes something like this: What if…

“She doesn’t like me anymore?”
“I lose my job?”
“I can’t pay my bills?”
“I fail this exam?”
“I don’t get this promotion?”
“My business doesn’t take off.”

And then we make up consequences. It goes something like this: I have to…

“Be single.”
“Find a new job.”
“Borrow money from my parents.”
“Quit school because I failed.”
“Stay at this job another year.”
“Be ashamed because everyone thinks I’m a failure.”

Then we think: “I can’t handle that.” And finally, we think: “The world is going to end.”

If your thought process is the way described above, worry controls you.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” — Albert Einstein

Nowadays, I try to worry less because I trust my ability to handle everything that life throws at me.

Because knowledge, skills and character are the only things that no one can take from you, every minute you spend on learning something is well spent.

No matter what happens, trust in your ability to address it. So start now.

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