It seems like every day for the past few weeks, I’ve learned a life lesson.
Today, I realized that all of these smaller lessons have added up to one major one: that it’s time for me to really put myself first.
It’s hard to explain in words, on a blog, how major this realization is. It affects absolutely everything in my life. For far too many years, the effects of trauma meant that I wasn’t able to listen to myself. In the past couple of years, I’ve been able to tune into my own inner voice — through an incredible amount of hard work, both in the therapeutic process and on my own.
Now, I’ve heard what the inner ME has to say. And I have to tell you, the truth can be painful sometimes. I’ve looked at myself in ways that I didn’t think I could, from every angle imaginable. If anyone thinks self-examination is always fun, then they’ve never really done it.
So you may be wondering, what have you learned, Lucy?
Well, in a nutshell, I’ve figured out that the way I’m living right now — my current life situation — is basically destroying me, the inner me. There is nothing about my current life situation that is nurturing the real me, and in fact, it’s having the opposite effect.
How do I know? I’ve spent the past 3 months sick. Really sick. The flu, and now what appears to be some kind of infection — I have to go to the doctor Monday to find out. My health is causing me acute suffering and pain, and I believe the reason is because my body is trying to tell me something important: that the external suffering is really a manifestation of my internal suffering. Suffering I’m bringing onto myself by not putting my needs first.
I have to stop this from continuing. Which means I’m going to have to make serious — and I do mean serious — decisions. I can’t upend my life situation overnight, but today I am writing a list of all the things I will change over the next 12 months and then beginning to do them.
This is my one and only life. MY life. I’ve finally figured that out. I can’t keep putting other people’s lives in front of my own, just because I’m afraid to do the right things for myself. I’ll have to take whatever consequences may come, including financial problems for awhile, if need be. But I believe that by following my inner voice, I’ll not only pull myself out of whatever financial hole I find myself in, I’ll also reach greater heights than ever before: not just financially, but in every way.