Has anyone ever told you that you should take your own advice? About a month ago, I was on the phone with someone I haven't talked to in years; someone currently facing a very difficult battle. I wanted this person to know - to hear my voice say - that, even though we haven't kept in touch over the years, don't for one minute think I haven't thought of them or that I haven't had them heavy on my heart. I went on to say, "I cannot imagine what you are all going through." That person began to cry, and said, "...and you...all the things - you, you've been through so much...I can't imagine everything you have been through." My tears began to fall as I agreed...multiple divorces, abuse, the death of my son - watching it, being there...I just choose to be okay. It is a conscious decision I make every single day to be okay. They said, "but you are so strong...how...how do you do it?" I replied, "I'm not strong, Jesus is." Still crying, they said, "right, I know...but how do YOU do it...I have pushed people away; I've been angry about a lot of things...how" and without even knowing what was going to come out of my mouth, I began to speak out loud into the phone - "You are right. I have been through a lot. I know that my son's life ended...but mine did not. I know that I have to face battles every day, but I choose to go on. I had to come to terms with myself and know that I am okay." That person then told me that they are currently working on making amends with people, but having a hard time forgiving themselves. Once again, I opened my mouth and the words just came. I heard myself, "OH don't I know! I can ask people for forgiveness - you can ask anyone for forgiveness; anyone can ask - and everyone on the face of the earth can say, "I forgive you", but you HAVE to forgive yourself. You have to understand that all the things that you've done...for me, all the mistakes I made, bad decisions - there was a time I got caught up in the could've-would've-should've of life...I also spent some time drowning my emotions and my reality in alcohol...all the poor parenting decisions I have made over the years - I know that I wasn't always emotionally and mentally there when Isaac needed me the most (thankfully my mom and dad were). But you have to let all of that go - YOU have to decide that you are going to make a change. You have to understand and accept that making those changes can mean losing friends, can mean family might turn their back on you or never speak to you again, they might not want anything to do with you any more. People might not agree with you and they might not accept the new you...once you are okay with that, you have to take action to make it happen. So, you want to know how I do it - I cutoff the people who want to remind me who I WAS...I decided to stop making myself miserable to spare other people's feelings - I stopped living to provide other people's temporary happiness, and start living for my own, permanent joy. I became okay if it meant I would have no friends. I made my decisions, and I stood firm in knowing that my husband deserves the best wife I can be AND my son, Caleb, still deserves the best mom I can be and the only way I can be my best, is to give my pain, hurt, shame, embarrassment, regrets, mistakes, my heart, my LIFE to God and truly LET GO, LET GOD.
As all of this poured out, I started to listen to myself, I became overwhelmed with the TRUTH of what I was speaking. Seriously, God gave those words to me to touch someone else's life all while telling myself something I needed to hear. Something I had accepted but perhaps the reality of it all hadn't truly set in until that very moment. Sometimes, you just need to listen to yourself.
~Learn to be alone and like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company. ~ Mandy Hale
If you have time, leave a comment below, or send me a message, and tell me about a time that you should have listened to your own advice.