They say a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE will not happen, I say it is happening now.
Walk around your office, go online look at those around you, people are zoned out and just doing the same thing they have allowed in their lives forever. They are just getting up and doing the same routine each day without thinking about whether it is something they love. It is CRAZY.
I have seen people become ZOMBIES at work and in their personal lives because they keep doing the hamster wheel of helping others and working for others and being the STRONG one and they don't realize what they have done to themselves. DON'T BECOME A ZOMBIE!
This is why a MID LIFE CRISIS happens… because you finally WAKE UP and decide… “HEY I WANT TO DO SOMETHING FOR ME.” And you go out and buy a fancy car or get a tattoo or travel or splurge on something else or finally go for your DREAM JOB. Why wait for your midlife crisis to wake up and take care of you?
I have had some incredible mentors in my life but today I am thinking of two in particular. BOTH left this Earth way too early but made a huge impact on me and they both taught me the same message, to LOVE ME FIRST.
One of them did the opposite of LOVING YOU… and instead put everyone else's needs first and because of that, he didn't take care of himself physically. He ended up dying at the young age of 56 from congenital heart failure (an enlarged heart) Ironic right? But in the end, he did everything for everyone else around him and did nothing for himself.
The second mentor left this world even earlier, in his late thirties. He used to walk around the office saying “LOVING YOU” and it was a cute gesture. It wasn't until after his passing that I took this phrase to heart and starting diving into what LOVING YOU really meant.
Life is short and we should figure out how to love ourselves first.
This is a tough lesson to learn as we tend to put everyone's needs above our own. But I have come to realize that what they say on the AIRPLANE is accurate… put your oxygen mask on first and then you can help others.
It took me A LONG time to even understand what it means to LOVE YOURSELF. To me, my definition is to truly take time for you, put your needs first and take care of your health and well-being. Many of us grew up with a set of rules at home that considered such a thing as SELFISH. I too felt that way for almost 45 years.
I now have a different perception on this topic. This really doesn't mean to just think of yourself and not think of anyone else. It just means to LOVE you first, which to me means that your needs have to be taken care of first before you can take care of someone else's needs. You cannot wait for someone else to take care of you, YOU must take care of you.
How do we do this? Well, for everyone it will be different. For me, it simply means:
- To wake up on my terms (do what I want to do)
- Start my day with a healthy breakfast and continue to fuel my body throughout the day
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (when you feel good you can do more for yourself and others)
- Exercise or meditation time to stay alert and feed my mind (quiet time relaxes me and gets me centered)
- Have some CREATIVE time where I can get lost into a project or good book (this is a MUST for me, I need to * fuel my creative fire and get distracted from daily life)
- Work on goals and aspirations (who else is going to work on YOUR goals but YOU?)
- Visualize my dreams and aspire to do and be more ( I like to lose myself in a bubble bath, just visualizing all the possibilities that my life can be and is now)
- Consistently evaluate that I am still enjoying my life and loving what I do (who else will figure this out for you? ONLY YOU)
I am sure there are others on my list… but really, who is responsible to take care of ME and MY NEEDS… ME! If you put others before your needs, you will become ANGRY or RESENTFUL or feel LIKE you DON'T MATTER. I did this for years and years and let ex-boyfriends take advantage of my generosity. In fact, I even gave one of my exes' MOM a CAR. WHAT was I thinking? She was supposed to buy us tickets for a fun cruise and never did and of course then my ex and I broke up. WHO DOES THAT? Well, I DID. I could have put the money in a savings account for a rainy day.
It is not just MONEY that can become out of balance in a relationship and, of course, there are times when we lean on one another, but what about EMOTIONALLY OUT OF BALANCE? Sure couples, families and friends have tough times and we help each other through those times, but when you are the one doing most of the cheering up, coaching, uplifting of spirits, etc… then it is out of balance and you are not LOVING YOU or putting your needs first.
Figure out what you love and what makes you happy and do it.
Take it from someone who was in several dead-end jobs, has had a divorce and let her ex-husband take whatever he wanted, gave a car to her boyfriend's mom, redecorated another boyfriend's house on my dime, been the sole bread winner in several relationships, been the emotional support and Daily LIFE COACH for a multitude of relationships in the past, finally got a TATTOO, started a business that she is passionate about and is still reevaluating life each day.
Follow your bliss because life is short.
So, I will let you in on a secret… the first mentor I talked about at the beginning of the story was my DAD and the second was one of my favorite bosses I ever had. They died within a month of each other back in 2003. This, my friends, lit a fire under me to make sure that I not only continue to learn about myself and what I like and what I don't like, but that I do something for ME as much as possible.