We sometimes overlook red flags.
We ignore feeling tired. We avoid what's piling up on our counter, desk, or email box. We distract ourselves from the anxiety of taking on too much. We pretend that someone isn't making us uncomfortable. We do something we don't want to do. We adjust to living unhappily.
It's not our fault. From early on, we were taught how to get dressed, brush our teeth, read, and drive a car. But most of us didn't learn how to essentially take care of ourselves. We weren't taught the importance of protecting our peace of mind.
A lot of our rewards came from learning how to take care of others. We learned to feel good by getting the approval of our parents, teachers, friends, partners and employers. Even God.
But it's a hard toll not being kind to ourselves.
We change when we begin to think it's worth taking care of ourselves first.
We start to say no to what doesn't feel right. We begin to follow what's nurturing.
What you notice is that living this way is simpler. Rather than considering everyone else, there's you. What do I need? Will this help or hurt me? Do I want to do this? It's okay for me to say no. What feels right?
One of my friends recently told me that she deleted friends from her facebook account that were constantly writing negative things on her page. She felt relieved.
Last week a client happily got rid of a couch that a sales person convinced her she would like but she secretly hated.
Rather than pretend I wasn't tired, I began taking a naps in the late afternoon. I was able to let go of my work day and really enjoying my evenings.