So many things may change in one year. You could lose love, employment, or you could gain perspective, rebuild your life and find freedom again. But before all the good things happen, you grow weary from the weight of everything. Memories that you wish you did not have resurface and days blur together. The world outside reflects your bleakest thoughts. Yet, you are forced to be where you are needed because you’re a good person who always does the right thing.
You are tired of having a heart and being compassionate. The mask that you wear daily is fading, your impatience over people and their needs is showing, and all you can think about is when you get to go home. The list of things you have to do pile up and the nights that you spend awake, lying in bed, only serve as fodder for all the bad feelings to crawl into your heart like vines on a brick wall.
You’ve just stopped listening to yourself and started unrelentingly giving to others without sparing a second for yourself. Then, you remember that one time, a friend told you that you are not responsible for the emotional labor of others. Every time you remember this particular statement, it takes on a new meaning. Since when did you become responsible for the feelings and thoughts of others? Since when did you start to consume them as your own? But now it’s time to take back what’s yours. And here’s how you should do it.
The first thing is to forgive yourself.
You simply didn’t know what you were doing to yourself. You are doing the best that you can. No one is expecting you to bounce back to the way that you were. You, my darling girl, are putting too much pressure onto yourself by telling yourself that everyone else is more important than you. Your history will always be a part of you but it doesn’t have to overtake you.
Next, recognize that you are one person meant to do only so much for others.
You have only one heart that is meant to beat just for you and it is a privilege for others to find space in it. You give so much to others, but sometimes it’s best to let it be. Just carry on knowing that you did the very best that you could.
Finally, make your heart a priority before others.
Don’t drop everything for the first person that pays attention to you. Instead, make yourself available to yourself first, and then everyone else.
Break your mindset wide open. Realize that no matter the circumstances you are trying your very best. Cutting yourself some slack will help you. In the face of absolute bleakness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.