Dear friend who is going through a hard time,
When life keeps throwing problems our way, we often think that we can handle it. That we are capable of bearing our burdens alone and keeping up the ‘I’m okay’, served with a fake smile facade. We often feel that we must suffer in silence . That we need to hold it together, keeping up with every last responsibility and even taking care of others during this hard season.
Simply put, this is the foolish, ‘I’m strong’, human response of handling things. We are human. We are breakable. It’s okay not to be okay. We were born to be social beings, to rely on one another through tough periods (no matter what this individualist culture may tell us). We were born to help others and to trust and accept the helps of others. We were not born to make it on our own. However, I understand why it’s so hard for us in our Western society to have this mindset, to be trusting when it comes to others. Why? Loyalty is dead. People will kick you over if it means they can get ahead. However, it just means you have to sift through the masses to get to those who know the real meaning of trust and loyalty.
As I wrote in a previous post, who I am and my appeared ‘strength’ is due to the people in the background who are constantly pushing me back up when I fall.
‘Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.’
You know what is okay when you’re down and struggling to cope? To drop your expendable responsibilities, to take time out for yourself (you can stop doing the most for everyone else for a hot moment), to stop being in denial and to admit that you’re not okay. To allow yourself time to feel, heal and get back up.
I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care. When I’m down, I cannot live out my God-given purposes. The biggest mistake we can make is thinking we are capable of being there for others, when we cannot even take care of ourselves. It’s like a newborn baby trying to take care of a newborn baby, it’s really just not going to happen.
I believe I was created to encourage and to give. Over the past year I found it hard to act in this capacity and to do what Olivia usually does, to look after others. Instead of a joy, it became a massive burden. Why? I needed to spend some time taking care of myself. I simply did not have the emotional capacity to form new friendships, to whole heartedly look after others the way my mother taught me.
Finally I got it. Finally I realised I needed to stop taking on new responsibilities, needed to start saying no when necessary, needed to stop putting the welfare of others above my own (during this time) and to look after me. I realised it was okay to do what I needed to do, to get back to feeling like me, to being me (this makes sense in my head).
‘First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.’
There’s not much we deserve in life. And when I say deserve I mean born with the right to. But we do deserve self-care! We deserve to look out for our own mental wellbeing. It was only when I could start looking after others again, without feeling drained, did I realise that I was back to me. 100% me again.
So, dear friend who is going through a hard time… You deserve to feel 100% like you again. So take time out, stop feeling like you need to be emotionally available to everyone (get rid of the parasites, they will drain you dry and will never identify the need to push you back up). Take care of yourself! Put yourself first! Do what you need to do to get through this season. You’re going to get through this rough patch and you’re going to end up stronger and happier on the other side.
With love, DiaryofaMaverick X