Today’s message: Find your safe space and spend some time there this week.
We all need a place where we can exist unfiltered, unmasked, and free. These are moments and places we call safe spaces and they come in many different forms. If you don’t have any, let’s think about how you can find your safe space. If you know what they are, check in with your physical and mental health this week to see if you are craving some time there.
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Usually, if someone says that they talk to themselves out loud, our internal insanity radar activates. It probably activates more when they tell you that they see people or things that don’t actually exist. Both of these can get you on the weirdo list. However, when it comes to pursuing bold dreams, you might need both to be your own cheerleader.
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Yesterday, while listening to a lecture by Jim Rohn, one of his points was such a great reminder of one thing we must be willing to do to reach our fullest potential: we must be willing to change.
If you want change, YOU must change. If you change, everything will change for you. When you get better, everything will get better for you.– Jim Rohn
As I find myself in a time of reflection, personal growth, and preparation for the next season of life, Rohn’s statement resonated with me in a very powerful way. It is easy to either focus on the things that hinder(ed) us from meeting our goals or to overlook the things that are within our power to change our life. However, we can change our thoughts, actions, and character.
Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged about things in life that have not gone the way we wanted them to. And, it’s hard to know whether the things we control can outweigh the things we cannot. Are we really in control of our own life? Can we really change our outcomes despite what may have happened to us in the past? In this life, we have to have faith that if we change everything will change for us.
This lecture encouraged me to be willing to change the areas in my life that hinder my growth. While your change may be different than mine, the first step is honesty about the factors and excuses we allow to hinder positive change in our life.
What are you spending more time on—changing your thoughts and behaviors or frustration with everyone else’s? Our goal is to focus on proactively working on the things that are within our control to change.
Everyone wants to find love. And, everyone wants that love to last. When I was talking with one of my friends the other day, we started talking about how it can be so easy to lose yourself when you’re in a relationship. That should definitely not be the case, but it happens all the time. We can become so consumed with finding and keeping love, that we end up deprioritizing other aspects of ourselves or our life.
Whether you are in a new relationship, single, or in a long-term commitment, here are a few important things to remember to help you keep bringing your best self to any relationship:
Things to keep doing:
- LOVE YOURSELF. To find and maintain true love and healthy relationships, you must love yourself. When you’re in a relationship, your responses, expectations, attitudes, trust, and confidence comes from how you see and feel about yourself.
- Keeping Growing. Take personal responsibility to improve the areas you don’t like/love about yourself. It is not the other person’s job to hold your hand along this journey. It would be nice, but it’s not their responsibility to give you the confidence to change YOU. That is an unrealistic and unfair expectation. Don’t look for someone else to repair or accept the flaws you are too resistant or in denial to change.
- Lose the baggage. This is the one time that losing your luggage is a good thing. Your baggage is your past fears, hurts, and worries. Often, we project that onto other people. It’s important to at least try to limit how much baggage you are bringing on board. Remember, every plane has a weight limit and you want your relationships to soar. So, leave the junk behind if you can.
- Take responsibility and expect the same. Being in love is not an excuse to accept any and every type of behavior. You have to take ownership of your behavior and expect your partner to take responsibility as well.
- You need more than chemistry. Having “chemistry” with someone does not mean you should enter into (or stay in) a relationship with that person. You can and will have “chemistry” with many people in your life, so you are going to need a lot more than that to make your relationship last.
- Validate Yourself. This connects back to taking responsibility for your own growth. It’s important for others to encourage and uplift you; however, it’s also your responsibility to validate and affirm yourself.
Things to Stop Doing:
- Stop causing harm. When you don’t take care of your baggage, you can start acting out of your fears and use your insecurities as an excuse for irrational behavior.
- Do not look for someone to complete you. Relationships should not complete you, they should support and sharpen you. There’s a difference. Focus on you becoming whole as YOU and you will inevitably add more value to your relationship.
- Don’t look for someone to fill the voids and holes YOU created in your own life. Are you starting to see a theme here? Taking responsibility is critical to any successful relationship.
- Don’t enter a relationship to find yourself. Take time to get to know who you are and what you like/love about YOU. You can’t find in others what you can’t first see in yourself. In other words, you can’t find what you don’t know.
Any relationship takes work, but when you work on becoming whole you will inevitably add more value to your relationship. So, don’t forget to keep working on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You will be better for everyone around you.
In curious, what advice would you add to this list?
Whether you are in a relationship or not, the greatest gift you can give yourself and/or your relationship on this day is to set yourself free from other people’s definition of Valentine’s Day. This is how to not let Valentine’s Day stress you out!
This day can definitely be one of the hardest days to resist comparing yourself to other people. You see people sharing the various ways they are celebrating on social media and it’s easy to start evaluating your relationships and your self-worth based on one day. Too many people get depressed or anxious due to comparison on this day. Some people even feel inadequate because they are not in a relationship at the moment.
Over the years, I’ve had to learn to take control of how I define true love, romance, and how I celebrate it on this day. It’s easy to succumb to the temptation to evaluate your relationship or worth based on one day. But, please, do not do it!
Valentine’s Day does not define you or your relationship.
There are no laws that say you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day a certain way—or even at all. It is a human-made holiday! It does not carry any force of nature with it and does not define your destiny. So, although it’s hard to refrain from comparison to others, try it anyway!
If you are celebrating today, do it the way you want. If you are not celebrating, be confident in that choice. And, if you are single, try your best to not feel inadequate; it really is just another day of the week. If you recently went through a breakup, I’ve written another post with some tips on how to not let that temporary pain break you.
At the end of the day, do not let Valentine’s Day stress you out. Spread love, give love, and love yourself every day.
You have two choices: 1) get over your past or 2) get stuck in your past. Think about this: If you were climbing stairs and reached the halfway point, would you sit down and lament about each stair that tripped you along the way and how you don’t understand why it would do that? You are halfway there so why not keep moving forward? I know it sounds silly, but we are all guilty of being so stuck in the past at times that we forget there are more stairs to climb.
There is something about the past that tries to keep its grip on us, or maybe we are resistant and reluctant to release our hold of it. As painful as it can be, the past is what we know; it informed who we are to this point. It’s our sacred history despite the fact that we may not always like aspects of the story it tells.
Sometimes our past will weigh on us and threaten to keep us stuck. We may feel crippled by things that happened to us or feel more comfortable living in the familiar. It will take courage to get over your past, but we build strength as we move forward.
Overcoming our past is one of the most important healing journeys we must take in order to reach our fullest potential.
If you feel stuck right now, it’s time to get up and keep moving. Since there is more life to live, the only reason to sit down and pause on that fourth step would be to catch your breath for the journey ahead. Rest up, patch up, and heal, but don’t stay there. By simply getting up and climbing more stairs you build strength for your tomorrow.
You got this, my friend!