1. You can't teach people to fly by carrying them on your back. You have to teach by example. You have to let them learn to fall, too.
My therapist says that I am too "other" centering. She says that I focus too much on other people and not on myself. This isn't always a bad thing, but it becomes problematic when your energy shifts all one way; away from taking care of yourself. I am not sure why I do it, just that I've always done it. I'm the one that says, "it's gonna take me awhile to get where I'm going cause I gotta take other people with me. I'm OK with that." But I am realizing that it has caused more damage than good. I've been the biggest cheerleader for others, and I'm realizing that sometimes cheering can become enabling too quickly. I've been trying to teach people to fly by carrying them, and that only results in injuring myself and enabling them. What would it look like if I showed them how to fly instead? Do I even know what it feels like to have the wind beneath my wings when I'm not trying to drag someone else along?
2. Your emotions are deeply embodied. Should you forget this, your body will remind you by breaking down.
CONFESSION: I'm seeing a personal trainer. Not like seeing a personal trainer (although I wouldn't be against it...nothing wrong with consolidating relationships I say) but like I pay someone to help me work out because I have no clue what I am doing and I need the structure. I didn't realize how out of shape I was until that first session. It's bad yall. Like "don't ask me to help you move or run or stand up too quickly" bad. Granted, I didn't really eat food before then (which is another lesson for another day) but I couldn't lift 5 lb weights above my head. Not even a full set! The shame!
When my personal trainer asked why I was there I told the truth: that I was having too much stress and multiple anxiety attacks in a week and sometimes I would lie in bed with chest pains and would force myself to stay awake because I read an article that said that women who are stressed can have heart attacks in their sleep, so I figured that if I didn't sleep I wouldn't die (and this is why you should not google anything health related). How did I get to that point? Well, school is hard, people hurt people and stress is a hell of a drug. In other words, I was dealing with too many emotions and I didn't have an outlet for them. See, our emotions are deeply embodied (how else would you explain water leaking from our eye socket because we feel "sad") and too often we ignore the toll our emotions take on our bodies. But if there is one thing I've learned it is this: my body wants attention and does not want to be ignored. So eventually, it had enough of the stress I was putting on it and shut down.
"Oh, you want to add another job to your plate? No thank you!" (neck and shoulder tension).
"What's that, you don't want to deal with all this stress we're under? I don't think so!" (anxiety attack).
"Oh so you're just not gonna eat or do anything relaxing? Yeah, lets see how far that gets us." (chest pain, left arm pain and numbness, lack of focus....basically pressing the WE ARE GOING TO DIE button).
I think I got the point after that.
3. It is one thing to encourage, push, and have confidence in yourself. It is another to receive that from your community. You will always need both.
I've always been a person that pushes herself to do better. Sometimes I push myself too hard (see #2), but I've always known that if I just encouraged myself that I would do great things. And to some extent I have. But there are times when I need others to reinforce what I already know, to be that voice of affirmation (my love language) that says "yes and amen" to what God is affirming in me, and to speak truth and wellness into areas that are tired, discouraged and in need of some TLC.
This would be the part where you tell me how awesome and beautiful and brilliant and cool and funny and etc. I am.....I'll wait...
Sometimes we need friends to remind us of who we are; to speak truth to us. You have no clue how much it means to hear affirmation. You may never know if it's the right time to say those things. Let me help you: it is ALWAYS the right time. Especially for those friends who seem like they have it all together. They need to hear from you, too. This balance of self love and communal affirmation is what makes the best of us, keeps us humble and gives us permission to fly.