As the leaves turn colors and start to fall from the trees I feel the urge to make some changes.
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and she said something to me that really stuck with me. She said that her therapist told her that most people spend 80% of their time thinking about themselves and 20% thinking about others but she was the opposite. I know that for almost all my life I have spent 80% or more of my time focused on other people. I constantly would be thinking about what someone else would think about me, how I look, what I said, do they care about me? what can I do to make them happy? etc etc.. I did that so much that I lost myself in the process. I have been in more than one relationship where I gave all I had out of love to be left standing completely drained as they walked away without looking back. All that time, energy, love and money wasted on someone who used me until they had used me up. I gave up doing things I loved because I was criticized by lovers and friends for being “too busy”. I did not do things for myself because I was too busy doing for others. I bought for those I loved and went without myself. I want to be clear. It was not always asked for. It was just what I did. It was my identity. I was not happy unless I was doing for someone else. I have had no balance in that area. The last two relationships I have had almost did me in. I did everything to please and ended up hollow.
But it is time for change. I know it will not be easy. When people love me I am suspicious of them. I struggle with feelings of not being good enough. When I do things for myself I feel guilty. When I allow myself to feel rage because someone has harmed me I feel like a bad person. When I take up for myself I feel I am doing something wrong. This is going to take some work. I was thinking this morning about how it is important for my own mental health to forgive and I have forgiven some people who hurt me deeply. But here is the important thing I was missing. I can forgive but that does not mean I have to open my life in anyway to someone who will only damage me if I am around them. There is one person in particular that has shown me zero respect or compassion that I have chosen to forgive even though they have not once apologized for their part in what happened. I do not have to allow that person to have any part in my life.
Its time to turn the page and move on.