I have felt so tired lately. Drained and overworked and just wanting to crawl into bed. At first I thought maybe this is because I am a mom and I am busy, but being a mom actually gives me energy. I love being a mom. I love what I do for my kids and I love being with my kids. As busy as being a mom keeps me, it is not what is draining me. It feeds me. It gives me energy because it is what I love. Being a mom is not what is making me tired. What is making me tired are the other relationships that I feel I give so much to that never give anything back.
Do you have people in your life that you feel you always give to and never receive anything in return? People you always initiate with but you never hear from otherwise? Do you have friends or family members that no matter how positive you are it seems they are always negative? Do you have people in your life that only seem to show up when you are sad or have bad news but disappear when you are celebrating great news? Do you have those in your life that when you are sad or hurting somehow their sad or hurt suddenly becomes the subject of the conversation you started? Or people who are extremely gifted at talking about themselves but never ask how you are?
I have a quote on the board in my kitchen that says;
“There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for you.”
I don’t know who wrote these words, but I have had them posted on my board for over a year, and yet it has taken me that full year to decide to finally take action. Why? Because I have a lot of people I love in my life and even though it is sometimes hard for me to be around them, even though they hurt me, even though I feel they don’t reciprocate in our relationship, it is still hard to let go. Or because the good, forgiving heart inside me thinks they will change. Thinks it will get better. Thinks they will love me back. But in the year since I’ve had that quote on the board these people have not changed and our relationships have not gotten better. And they won’t. I cannot change people nor should I. They are living their lives the way they want to and so I decided I get to live my life the way I want to too. And I want to live my life without letting negative people affect it!
I had a wonderful conversation this morning with a great spiritual mentor of mine and we spoke about this. She reminded me that the more I focus my energy on these people that I am getting nothing back from the more drained I become. And the more drained I become the less energy I have for myself and for the people in my life who do give back. She said:
“Kristy, you have the right to let go of people who don’t lift you up.”
We all have this right. It is not our responsibility to take care of the Debbie Downers of the world. Emptying ourselves to fill up others is not a healthy way to live and if we are empty it is hard to be happy.
Letting go of anything in life isn’t easy, but letting go of people is the hardest for me. I have to remind myself that just because I am letting go of people doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It doesn’t mean I think they are bad people. It just means I am releasing relationships that no longer serve me. Relationships that no longer support my current life. This doesn’t mean I am not thankful for what these relationships gave to me in the past, I just do not have the need for them now. My energy now is needed to be a mom and to be the best mom I can be.
So I ask myself how do I begin? Do I make a list of those who give me energy and those who don’t? No. Do I plan my entire next month out of who I am going to see and not see? No. I am not going to plan anything. I simply am just going to take it day by day, event by event, decision by decision. If someone asks me to do something with them, I will ask myself, “Would being with this person make me feel happy?” If the answer is yes, I’ll say yes. If the answer is no, I will say no. If someone wants to talk on the phone I will ask myself, “Will a conversation with this person make me feel happy?” If so, I’ll chat away. If not, I’ll tell them I am unavailable. If I feel my head voice come in and tell me I “should” reach out to someone I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile, I’ll take a deep breath and ask myself, “Do I really want to reach out to this person?” And only reach out if the answer in my heart is truly, really, honestly, yes.
I have the right to say no to people who do not make me feel happy. I have the right to surround myself with those who do.
I’m sure this sounds easier to accomplish than it will be. I’m sure I might sometimes go into my human head and hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Worry if I made the right choice. But at the end of the day, when I go into my heart and my spiritual self, I know it is not selfish to take care of me. I know it is not selfish to want to fill my life with positive energy and positive, loving people.
Do you notice those people who walk around acting negative all the time? And in turn do you notice those who always seem to have a smile on their face? Which ones do you want to be around? Just like those people have a choice to act the way they are acting, we have a choice of who we want to surround ourselves with.
My mentor also told me today,
“The mother in today’s world is a mother who has a right to say no without guilt.”
She is absolutely right. In this day and age so much is asked of us as moms and I feel if we say yes to every single thing that is requested by schools and sports, friends and family, agendas and activities…… we will be an absolute mess. And on top of that, if the people we spend our time on/with are draining us too, we will drown in that ocean we have been crossing for them.
I should not feel guilty saying no to unhealthy relationships. I should not feel guilty saying no to things I do not want to do. In fact, I should feel proud of being able to say no because in saying no I will become a happier, less tired, more giving mother. And this means I will be better at the thing that is the very most important thing to me in the world.
So I have decided that from now on, for me, starting today;
Oceans are for swimming in, scuba diving in and enjoying. Not for crossing for others.
To thine own self be true.