When a new year rolls around it is always my hope to make drastic changes, achieve endless and sometimes unrealistic goals, and basically become a new person. All without a plan. Although I made some great strides last year and accomplished a few of my goals, 2021 was rough…especially the end of the year. 

As always I took some time to reflect on the happenings of the year and there were two very important things I learned during that time. Today I decided to share them in order to encourage change in these areas within you where needed. 

One. Protect my peace.

What is protecting your peace?

For many years I have been the go to person for everyone in my life. I have been the strong friend in every friend group, the problem solver, the solution finder, the therapist, the shoulder, the ear…I have just always been whatever someone needed whenever they needed it. Never mattered what I was dealing with, what I lacked, where I struggled, the only thing that mattered was that I was there for them. In the beginning of the year this was okay because it was all I had ever been used to. Looking back I can pinpoint exactly where this became entirely too much for me to handle, causing a strain on my personal life and health. 

Learning to protect my peace wasn’t easy at first and sometimes I still find myself struggling here and there. At the time that I decided to say forget what other people think or feel, forget what they need, forget it all…I truly felt that it was me or them. I had no choice. For once in my life I chose me. From that day forward I vowed to always choose me. 

After some time I was ready and able to go back to being there for others. I realized that choosing me didn’t mean that I was no longer going to be able to be there for those that I love and care for. (It is just that at that time I had put myself on the back burner for so long I no longer had the mental/emotional capacity to do both.) What it actually meant was that I would be pouring from a cup that is already overflowing instead of trying to pour from a cup that has a hole in it. 

Protect your peace, love. 

Two. I have low self esteem. 

I know, it doesn’t seem likely. In fact I had no idea that I have had low self esteem all these years. I knew that there were certain insecurities and issues that I had but I didn’t realize that the underlying issue was low self-esteem. As a child I believed that having low self esteem meant that you didn’t think you were pretty and I now realize it’s much deeper than that. 

Self esteem is your overall opinion of yourself. For instance you may have low self esteem if you do not feel that you are deserving of good things. Low self esteem may look like settling or blaming yourself; speaking negatively about yourself or being super critical of yourself can also mean that you have low self esteem. It could even look like making yourself smaller.

Recognizing that I have low self esteem has made many things clear to me. It explains a lot and I am grateful for the knowledge I now have. It isn’t important to me to figure out where this stemmed from, instead I want to focus on how to have higher self esteem. I want to hold myself in high regard. I know that I have to unlearn some things, learn some new things, and practice. Like breaking in a pair of brand new shoes, I’ll have to be uncomfortable for a little while and I am okay with that.

Learn to love who you are and how you are. Embrace the parts of you that you don’t necessarily like and once you’ve truly done that, change them if they still bother you. 

You are deserving of all the good things love.

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