in my early 20s, i viewed self love as something that needed to be tackled all at one time. i wondered how so many people seemed to love every single piece of themselves. while going through my counseling psych program and living, learning and loving through my mid 20s, i realized that it is not only a lifelong process – it is something that needs to be done in steps.
have you ever made a to do list with so many action items on it that you just sat the list down and walked far away…to the other side of the room…and snuggled up on your couch/in your bed? that is what would happen when i was trying to figure out how to love myself more. the list seemed too daunting.
what ended up being helpful for me was tackling one thing at a time. i asked myself what truly made me happy. i did an inventory of the things and people in my life where i invested the bulk of my time. i realized anything that wasn’t reciprocal wasn’t healthy. my late 20s were filled with many difficult conversations and come to jesus moments but here is what i can say about 30: i have never felt better about the people in my life, the path i am on in my career, the things i have modified to prioritize my health and the ease i feel when saying no to things/people/situations that don’t suit me.
this quote sums up where i currently am perfectly:
“when i loved myself enough, i began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. this meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. my judgement called it disloyal. now i see it as self-loving.” -kim mcmillen
don’t allow you definition of loyalty to keep you from your healthiest and happiest you.
in the world we live in, there is this unspoken idea that we are supposed to be constantly dialed in. right now, i am typing this from my macbook that is linked to my imessages with multiple windows open across my four gmail accounts. when did this become the norm even during summer vacation? anyone else in the same boat?
even with me being dialed in pretty regularly, something i have been working on is accessibility. it is one thing to have all of these windows on my screen open – it is an entirely different thing to feel an immense pressure to respond to every text, phone call, email, dm, etc. i am someone that has to be dialed in for work from august to may. we have been instructed to keep our cell phones on our desks in plain sight so we can see the alert if the school goes on lockdown (what a world we live in). this is in addition to me working in mental health and getting more texts than i could ever count about crises that need to be addressed immediately. when i am at work, this does not bother me because i knew that this simply came along with the job. but it is outside of work that started to chip away at me.
there did not seem to be boundaries around my accessibility. it is like i had made this unconscious decision to be equally accessible for anyone at any given point in time, no matter the reason for contact or my mental/emotional state of being at that moment. something had to give. this quote summed it up perfectly.
“you are allowed to change the price of what it costs to access you.”
i cannot tell you how much i needed to see this in print or how much it resonated with me. there were people that had access to me that did not deserve it. there were people who had access to me that was too easy considering the lack of reciprocity in our relationship. there were people that accessed me with heavy content without first checking to see if i had the capacity to hold it. but here’s the thing – i was, am and will be in complete control over who has access to me along with what it costs to access me. while the cost may not be monetary, it certainly includes things like reciprocity, compassion and loyalty, amongst other things.
have you stopped to think about what it costs to access you? do you need to change the price or is it fine as is?