Grateful to be in the equation
One of the greatest gifts I’ve given myself during my transformation is the gift of being and living in the center of my own life. It did NOT come naturally or easy. And I am grateful for it every day.
Some of you will read this and it will be a given. But for many others, this is a foreign concept.
Far too many of us struggle to prioritize ourselves. We focus on doing everything for everyone else and feel there’s simply not enough of us to go around. Perhaps we do this out of self-sacrifice, responsibility to others, or because we feel we have no choice. For some of us, and this was true for me, we do it because we want to be loved and accepted. And we’re looking for that love and acceptance outside ourselves.
We strive to be perfect, and believe that only then will we be loved and accepted — because then we will deserve it. I lived this way for much of my adult life and wasn’t aware I was doing it. My health, my needs and my self care came only after I gave absolutely everything I had to everyone else. So consequently, I didn’t make the list.
It took me a long time, but I finally realized that the key to happiness; the key to finding true love; and the key to personal transformation comes only from within. It comes when you embrace and love and accept yourself as a whole person — loving all of your imperfections with gusto. And, it comes when you make your needs and your life your top priority.
At first, I thought this was fundamentally wrong. The more you give, the more you get, right? Prioritizing me felt uncomfortable, self-centered and I feared I would become someone no one wanted to be around because I wasn’t giving enough, or I might have to say no, or I would disappoint. It took a lot of faith to do it differently, and some serious practice to get it right. But eventually, I discovered that I was a better person all around when I took care of myself first and foremost. (You know the analogy – if the pressure in the airplane dies put your mask on first before assisting others.)
It was only when I took care of myself that I had more to give to others. Because I felt healthy, nurtured, rested, and had more energy — I became a better leader, manager, friend, colleague, sister, daughter, partner, and confidant… Unlike before Lori-in-the-equation when I was tired all the time, depressed, and unhappy with myself and the direction of my life.
Yesterday, I had the distinct privilege to talk with two different women who have embarked on their own transformation journeys and are discovering this for themselves. It is a beautiful process to witness, cheer and support. It makes me smile when I see how others make the same discovery I did and put themselves in the equation. I smile even more when they refer to it as this and talk about being on the path to true happiness. What a gift to have the opportunity to support their journeys, and to be reminded of how far I have come in just three short years.
Today I am filled with gratitude for the gift of discovering that when you love yourself enough to put yourself smack, dab in the center of your life — amazing things happen! When you care for yourself, embrace yourself — both the good and the not so good — and when you make yourself a real priority, absolutely everything else falls into place. I promise you. And I wish that for you.
As we begin this Thanksgiving week, I invite you to be patient with yourself if you feel out of your equation or out of balance. Ask yourself: What it would look like if you were the center of your own life? What one thing can you say YES to that if you did it consistetly would move you in that direction? Also, is there something you need to say NO to or remove from your life to be more in focus? In my experience, just becoming aware can make all the difference.
Perhaps, like me, you have made changes in your self-care and self-focus and feel more in your equation every day. If this is the case, I urge you to wrap your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a big congratulations hug! That is awesome and you deserve it.
Not only am I incredibly grateful for the gift of being in my equation, I am grateful for the opportunity to inspire others and support their personal quest to do the same. Thank you for being here. And Happy Thanksgiving week.