I don’t care how much you want to create for the sake of your children, or their future, or whatever else, none of that matters if you don’t create space for yourself.
Stop trying to live your life in martyrdom for someone else.
Stop trying to give everything you’ve got for someone else.
Stop putting all that you want and need behind the needs of everyone else.
It’s not good for you.
It does you no favours
And it won’t get you anywhere.
In 2019, I went through 12 weeks of professional counselling. I figured I needed help to get to the bottom of whatever it was that made me feel like shit every day, and always had me swaying between barely OK and mind-numbing depression. I wanted out. I wanted to fix myself. I couldn’t see what was really going on.
I’ve always written through my problems, thoughts, ideas, all the crap that’s been weighing on me. I release it from my mind onto paper, and it usually helps me get through the crap somehow and let it go. But I couldn’t shift this habit of falling back into this fraught energy with a low mood whereby I had so much to do, but I’d get nothing done, nothing ever felt right and I couldn’t get past it.
For twelve weeks I took myself off for an hour to sit in a room and talk.
I made the agreement with myself that I wouldn’t hold back, whatever came up, came out, and I would let my mind wander into wherever it needed.
Because of that agreement with myself, I seemed to fly through so many things in a short period of time. It set off a chain reaction whereby things were changing fast.
It wasn’t just what happened in the sessions that made the difference though.
Every Thursday, I would head to my session, have an hour with my counsellor, then I would leave.
I’d take myself to a nearby coffee shop, grab some lunch and sit with my journal. I’d keep that train of thought going, the things I’d spoken about, and I’d keep working with them. I’d write until I felt clear. Until the lessons and realisations that had come up for me in the sessions were solidified in my mind.
By the end of the twelfth week, I had the biggest realisation
None of it mattered if I weren’t going to take time for myself
None of it. Not a bit. Not one little damn thing.
All the things I had come up against, all the things that weighed on me, were based on some idea that I had to live in accordance with other peoples expectations and ideals. Oftentimes, out of alignment with what I wanted.
As I looked back over 12 weeks, there was a noticeable pattern of times I’d shrunk away, felt heavy, and closed off, and when I’d been energised, lit up and full of life. The times I’d given parts of my life to someone else’s wants, needs or expectations, vs. Doing things my own way.
It sounds odd. It felt odd having that realisation.
But let’s look at it this way:
We spend our lives living to someone else’s rules.
We follow other peoples paths.
We try to behave in a way that makes other people happy.
We do things for other people to accept or praise.
We “show up” in a “likeable” way
We shape and mould our reality into a palatable version for other people.
We adjust what we say, or how we say it.
We behave in accordance to other peoples standards.
We follow the rules
We recreate other peoples paths.
We learn and use other peoples ideals and belief systems.
And we do most of it mindlessly – to be accepted, to fit in, to be liked.
God forbid you should take a stand and break “the norm” in accordance with those around you.
And god forbid you should try and create a life that is for you, not the kids, or your partner, or the other people who are important to you.
In my last session, my counsellor said to me “This is your life, you get to write your own script”
I laughed, she looked puzzled…
Life is a script of your own writing…
I’ve had that tattooed on my right shoulder since 2010. It’s been there all along, and yet, I’d still been trying to follow other peoples rules, other peoples paths… from everything through life to business, and it hadn’t got me anywhere.
Mostly, because I’m stubborn as all hell, and there’s a part inside me, that no matter how hard I try just refuses to budge if it means me doing something just because it’s what someone else wants or expects of me.
If someone says “here’s the path for you” that little inner me rises up with a disdainful look on her face, arms folded “it ain’t yellow, and my name ain’t Dorothy… no thanks. Move along” and she refuses. She might stamp on it a bit, tiptoe on the edge, but she won’t walk, run or dance along it in the pretty way she’s expected. Nah, she’ll often trail off into the brambles and weeds.
And as for wanting to create a great life for my children – well, that’s always been a sticking point… we want a great life, we want our children to have so much, but really… what do they even know about what they want, except for what we show them?
And how can we show them anything if we’re not willing to do our own thing and create a life we love?
“Here kids, I created this life where I’m miserable, I work my ass off all hours, and have nothing to show for it because I want you to have the latest iPhone and the shitty fad toys, and all the things, so you can be happy”
Well, what a crock of shit that is.
The best thing you can be for your children is happy.
The best thing you can be for yourself is happy.
And that comes from creating a life you love.
Otherwise, what are we teaching them?
The best years of your life are childhood where everything is provided for you, cos after that happens, you get to grow up and be miserable just like me, cos you’re gonna work your ass off for everyone but yourself.
That’s not good.
It’s not fun.
And let’s be honest… it’s not really setting them up for the fun-filled happy life you keep saying you want them to have now, is it?
Lead by example.
Create your life.
Live your dreams.
Do things your way.
I wasted a lot of years, too many, trying to live the other way.
It’s not worth it.
And above all other things, you need to take time for yourself.
You need time and space to tune into what you want, and how you’re feeling. It’s the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’re on the right path and change things if you need to.
Even if it’s just one hour a week, it’s a good start… if it’s daily, it’s even better.
So what are you waiting for?
Take an hour, tune into yourself, and figure this shit out…
This writing that I do? It all starts in a journal.
Every day I sit and I write.
All the thoughts and I ideas I have come through when I take time out from the world and just let it happen. Some of those ideas I share with you here, in Journal Entries
I want to share that freedom with you, so I created something for you.
“Life is a script of your own writing” – that’s what we’re doing here; we’re writing our scripts, creating our lives.