Reminded me of some of the best advise my mom every gave me … got me out of a horrible mess. Saved me from myself.
Life was swirling around me. Something had to change. So much was going on, all my options seemed wrong and I found myself buried under ten thousand “what ifs.” I blamed myself for just about everything. If only I had been better. If only I had made better choices. If only my house were cleaner, I was a better friend, I listened more than talk, if I had more patience. The blame buried me alive. I had no clue how to get myself out of the mess I was in. Every option seemed to hurt or destroy someone or myself. I was paralyzed by the fear of hurting my children. I felt like I was ruining their childhood. I felt like I needed to sacrifice myself for my family. I was, in every way, stuck.
Then, my mom said this … I want to see you start to make healthy decisions for yourself. One decision at a time .. just the next thing you do – make it healthy. It seems obtainable. I know right from wrong. Broccoli is better than brownies. Walking away is better than having a screaming fit. Setting a reasonable boundary is better than feeling like a doormat. Forgiveness and acceptance were needed. It meant starting to believe that I was lovable. Making healthy choices made me feel like I was being a good role model for the boys which was motivation in itself. Making good decisions also reflected my worth, even if I wasn’t totally convinced I was worth it. Sometimes it takes the action of forgiveness before you actually start to forgive yourself.
It started out small. I could sit up and let my mind run wild, or I could take time to journal and read my daily devotional. I started to think about what it was that I needed in order to feel good about myself. I needed to respected. I needed to feel loved. I needed to feel like I was worth something. I started to set small boundaries for myself. If you can’t talk to me with respect, don’t expect me to do your laundry. If you can’t lower your voice, I need to leave the room. I started thinking about what it was I needed and then holding true to my word. I was prone to taking a stance and then just caving on everything. I found with each small, healthy choice I gained energy to fight the bigger battle.
My boundaries weren’t set in anger – there was no fighting about it. They were gentle boundaries, said in love and kindness. “This doesn’t work for me.” They were not set in retaliation or as revenge. They were small healthy choices.
My true self started to surface again. My confidence grew. I started to remember how to love myself and, in turn, I was able to love those around me.
The mistakes of my past were still looming in the background. Wanting to remind me of how horrible I had been – how unlovable I had acted – how I had hurt the people I love. But then, I tried to remember my mom’s words – just make healthy choices. She didn’t say to forget all the mistakes you made. She didn’t say to fight harder or to love more. She didn’t even say that I was forgiven. Just do the next right thing.
That is a small task. It’s accomplish-able. Just keep doing the next right thing. Tune out the worries of tomorrow. Silence the overwhelming feeling of how on earth am I going to get myself out of this mess. Just do the next right thing. Even if it’s as simple as eating broccoli instead of the brownie. Oh who am I kidding?!? the brownie is ALWAYS the right choice!
Pretty soon you’ll find yourself home again. You are lovable and wonderful just the way you are. Nothing needs to change about who you are. You deserve to be loved. You are amazing!
Happy healthy choice making my friends!