Man, sometimes I wonder how people do the emotions thing. I am generally pretty mellow, but not last week.
I got mad twice last week. Like, really mad. Like, raise my voice and cuss mad. Like, the mad I always said I would never be mad.
And it wasn’t even over big things. It was stupid little things that didn’t really mean anything.
And I sat and I stewed on it. I said things I shouldn’t have. To myself and the other parties involved.
But it didn’t take me very long to realize that I wasn’t mad at the situation. I wasn’t angry at another person either. In fact, there was only ONE direction I could point my anger.
I was mad at me. If I really wanted to own the emotions I was feeling, I had to admit to myself that I was frustrated, disappointed and bothered by me… by my choices. By my mistakes.
I was mad that my house was a mess, yes. Mad that my kids hadn’t done their chores. Mad that I was later than I wanted to be. Mad that I “had to” miss my workouts to do other things. Mad that my ex kept changing things.
But not one of those things usually bother me. So why this time?
I took a few moments to really ponder what was going on with me. Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up and I knew the only direction I was going was backwards if I didn’t check myself.
And I discovered that I was angry because I haven’t been true to myself recently. I haven’t been loving myself very well lately. I haven’t been doing the things I know make me happy lately. Instead, I have been giving more than I should, doing more than I should and losing myself in the process. I have been expecting others to give to me, to love me, and to fill me up the way I was working so hard to do that for other people.
But that is like knowing I have a hole in my gas can, hoping someone else will come alongside me and patch it as I walk down the road with it dripping a trail behind me. All the while, other people are walking along the same road, at their own speed, lighting matches and throwing them into the wind. Sure, most of them won’t touch the gas, most will fly in other directions, but should one happen to hit MY leaky tank or a drop of gasoline…. BOOOM!
It is no longer a bunch of little drops of stinky gasoline. Instead, my entire world blows apart.
And that is what I had allowed to happen.
If I had been proactive in patching up the hole in the gas can, the matches other people were throwing would never have had the same impact. They couldn’t break through if I had taken the time to make the repairs necessary or care for my tank in the first place and ensure that everything was ship shape.
I know the importance of self-care. And no, I don’t mean just getting my nails done or taking a long bath, although those can be really nice.
For me, patching up the gas can means cleaning my house before it gets too messy for me to think. It means I need to make menus and go grocery shopping on my set day, no matter how fun other things seem. It means I need to prioritize my kids and their well-being over anyone and everyone else so that I know in my head that I am doing my best possible job. It means listening to my body when I am tired and going to sleep. It means knowing my limits. It means locking myself in my room so that I can get some time in to process my world. It means taking time to read. It means writing. Every single day. It means learning more about myself, learning that I am indeed loveable. It means asking for what I want. It means letting people know when they do something that hurts my feelings. It means standing up for myself. It means saying no. It means making every effort not to overthink things. It means structure. It means routine. It means discipline.
That is what makes my world go ’round. That is what makes me happy. No, not in the moment. In the moment, it never seems worth it. After all, they’re just little things… Maybe they can wait til tomorrow. It’s just too hard and I am too ______ (tired, emotional, busy, fill in the blank) at that moment.
But if you have known me any amount of time, you have heard me say that “the little things are the big things.”
It’s the little things we do, or don’t do, that build a great big world around us. And if the little things are shaky or they don’t serve us or they hurt us, then our great big worldview becomes unstable and inaccurate. And even though feelings aren’t facts, we forget that when the little things make it look so overwhelming.
So, here I go again. Making myself. Becoming better. Putting first things first. One foot in front of the other. Learning to love me. So I can love the world and the people around me.
Because honestly, I can only love you as much as I am willing to love myself. And you will only love me as much as I let you.
Here’s to some lovin’, friends.