By Holly Herring
I am going to spend twelve months giving myself the love I usually give others.
It’s going to be a struggle, because it’s not my go-to move.
I hit a bump in my path recently and I am taking some time away from some things to figure it all out. Maybe not all of it, but I’m going to hit the high notes. Twelve months of picking the best move for me in each moment…. This will require Right Mindfulness.
I neglect myself. If someone else is in need, I tend to stop and help them first. I work in a helping profession so it works out for me professionally. Am I dedicated to the cause? Heck yes! Will I work too many hours and go far above and beyond the call of duty to get something done for another person? Absolutely!
But for me?
Sadly, the honest answer is “no,” and I am suffering for it. I have temporarily lost respect for myself for not maintaining my boundaries. It’s been a chore to tend to my own health needs in the spare handful of minutes I give to myself. I have spent more time trying to mentally escape my life than actually living it. My dreams are not being pursued.
The fact is, I would like to be a better, healthier person for myself and, in turn, for those who know me. But, most of all, for me. I want to make myself my priority. Living a life I don’t want to escape from is the goal. Feeling safe in my space and having the peace I’ve always dreamed of is something I CAN make happen.
I will love myself in each moment for twelve months until I know myself again—then I will make some important life decisions. The Buddha told me how. He gave me the Noble Eightfold Path.
A lack of Right Mindfulness will cause a person to think too far forward into the future or way back into the past. This causes reactivity, lack of awareness of the state of the body, harmful regret for poor behaviors. But being mindful will reign me in. I will feel my body and ask myself before responding “How do I feel right now?”
Right now is the important part of that question.
Not, “How did I feel years ago when somebody wronged me?” and not “How would I feel if this thing I fear were to happen next week?”
How do I feel right now about this? Did what the other person said or did cause me to feel unpleasant? That feeling is my own based on either history or an imagined future. Right now, there is just this moment. There’s me and the other person and a moment to decide how I will express my emotion. Mindful that the other person is not likely my enemy, I will express the emotion responsibly and with great care.
I have been reading a great deal about self-pity. I discovered that people who have a lot of self-pity tend to be past oriented.
So, I decided to learn more about things to be mindful of when actively working towards becoming a healthier person.
- I will take charge and be responsible for my actions. If I hurt someone, I will make amends and not dwell on the past.
- Consistency is key. This will not happen overnight. I need time to make lasting changes.
- I am a seed, I need to nurture myself in the Eightfold Path’s Right Thought and Right Action to get a healthy harvest from myself.
- I will not love mediocrity. When I love myself, I will love my growth.
- I will support myself in being a better version of myself. That means only involving myself with people who are going up, up, up with me – not people who are going down. I’m only going to make travel partners of healthy people.
- I will improve myself academically and career wise.
- I will speak positive words about myself and pay attention to how I would rather feel, not languish.
- I will take care of my appearance. This will increase my self-confidence when I present ideas.
- I will pay attention to my body and slow down my responses so that they aren’t reactions.
- I will know that I am not entitled to validation from anyone except myself.
- I will appreciate myself. I will not compare myself or my circumstances to others. I am as perfect as I make my mind up to be.
- I do not have control over things that have happened to me in the past, but I can control who I am and how I act in this moment.
For the next twelve months it will be up to me to be the very best me I can be. Then I can evaluate my big life decisions and make the very best choices for my life.
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