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Lately, I’ve been making decisions that are not only good for me but others as well.
There’s a higher level of consciousness fueling my actions. A drive to ensure others are valued, respected, and cared for.
Not every decision in my past has been good. And too many to count have just been poor ones.
Though I didn’t recognize this at the time, I may have given into the temptation of self-destructive behaviors that provided instant self-gratification, a false sense of self-esteem, or just plain relief from whatever was ailing me physically, mentally, but even more so, emotionally.
It was insecurity, a desire to be liked, fear of rejection, and a thwarted belief that everyone needed me—often swayed by others’ words and temporary actions without trusting my own judgment. I was not listening to my intuition, which has never been wrong to this day; I blindly believed in others—all while repeatedly letting myself down.
When we believe so much in everyone else and lose sight of who we are, we risk losing the very person that we need the most—ourselves. You. Me. The person who has the ability to be our best friend. The person we can rely on. The person we need to respect and honor. The person with the character and integrity that makes one a dependable child, a solid mother or father, a caring family member, a committed worker, and a good friend. The person who others can trust. Decent people with good intentions who are genuine and sincere.
Sadly, it’s inevitable that when you grow as a human being and change in positive ways, some people need to be left behind. Those who try to pull you back or keep you down. Those who cannot respect the decisions you make now, despite what you may have done or who you were in the past. They may get mad, taunt you, and make every attempt to lead you into temptation. They may resent you, stop talking to you or threaten to cut you out of their life. Well, goodbye, and thank you for the lessons.
The struggle is real for those of us loving beings who sincerely care about people. If our self-respect isn’t intact or we’ve learned to distrust our judgment due to repeated mistakes, we may waffle on our decision. We become saddened by the potential loss of these once believed friends and exhaust ourselves by continually trying to understand how they could be like this. But as a dear friend once told me, stop. You’ll never understand because you’re wired differently. You can’t step into their shoes because your personality differences are so vast, so opposite, that you’ll only damage yourself more by not letting go.
If the you of yesterday is dead and buried—and who you’ve become is the person you are proud of—it may be time (no, it is) to move on from those who won’t grow with you. Because who you surround yourself with is important—even if you end up in your own company. You may find even more strength in that solitude.
To wake up each day, clear in conscience, armed with good intentions, and comfortable in your own skin, is the most liberating and joyous feeling in the world. It takes time; it takes effort; it takes being patient with yourself because you may try and fail for years. It’s a series of good decisions, followed by doubt, and then temptation. And then you will find the courage and self-respect to say no, which leads to wisdom.
You’ll be able to say, “This isn’t good for me.”
“This isn’t fair to someone else.”
“This is a short-term pleasure with long-term consequences.” “Unhealthy.” “Toxic.” “Just plain wrong.”
You’ll know when that day has come. You’ll feel it in the depths of your soul. It’s based on the feelings of peace, tranquility, and serenity. It’s gratitude, simplicity, and the gift of today.
But most importantly, it’s satisfaction in having earned trust in yourself to make those good decisions, design the life that’s right for you, and set forth in making the world a better place.