I am getting older, and there is so much value to respecting my age and new stage of life. Close friends are getting married, childhood friends have their own children, I am being named godmother and most importantly I am taking steps towards becoming the woman I’ve always strived to be. Unapologetic for being exactly who she is and loving her at all times.
Growing up, I was the peacemaker in my group of friends and family and that was my role. I thought that as peacemaker you had to apologize for a lot of things and be mindful of your actions so you wouldn’t hurt others. Sorry for not answering the call before, sorry for being busy on my projects, sorry for using my time for me, sorry I don’t want to go out tonight. And as peacemaker I defended a lot of people. They aren’t picking up because they had a crazy week at work, give them a break their family is going through a lot, they communicate in a different way try talking to them like this. It always made me feel good to bring people together and help them realize they can connect together positively and in peace. But unknowingly, I was doing it all wrong and not demanding care for myself from myself.
When I hit a low in life it was my turn to be offered space for support and understanding, I did not have the room to continue being “peacemaker.” I did not have the space to continue being in everyone’s lives as I once was, I only wanted to worry about my own feelings and my own experience and for my purposes that was and still is important to me. Given my personality, protecting myself looked differently than we were all used to. I did not open up about my troubles as easily as expected. No longer was I an “open book” as I was described, my experiences taught me I couldn’t trust as easily as before and I am continuously working through that. Some friends got upset, I let go and did not apologize and I felt lighter through that defiance. I was being myself and I realized that I would have rather been without a friend than feel as though I needed to offer another apology and this time it was for living my life as I see fit.
These days, protecting my space and balancing energy is my number one priority. I have recently been introduced to the practice of meditation, of practicing the alignment of mind, body and spirit, and of taking care of myself in all ways always. I am learning to be unapologetically selfish. I apologize only when I feel my actions are wrong or come from a place of immaturity and refusal to understand. I want to be my most genuine self and I recognize that will not work for everyone. If we don’t learn to take care of ourselves first, we can’t expect to successfully help the ones we love and demonstrate love on a daily basis.
As a reminder to you and myself, I share a quote from writer Alexandra Elle:
I am loyal to my Saturday reflection period as a space to think about the happenings of the week and my interactions with the world. I have recently begun sharing my reflections every Saturday morning on my Snap Chat @mary_behave and the response has been inspiring and love filled. I am completely grateful for those who connect. In the words of Junot Diaz “it takes guts to be alive” and to use everyday as a day to live fully, genuinely, happily and peace-filled takes work. I’m here to do the work with all of you.
Here’s to another step towards happiness and peace. Happy Saturday!