When my husband left for work I called out, “I love you more than pizza!” as he walked out the door. I haven’t been that sentimental in a while. More than pizza? That’s a level of vulnerability I don’t breach often. You will never hear me say I love anything more than tacos. Tacos are personal and I have boundaries. Even when people say, “Taco Tuesday”, I feel personally attacked. Don’t put tacos on a schedule. So unnecessary. Every day is Taco Tuesday when you believe. Taco Tuesday is inside of us all.
When you get to know people you realize everyone experiences love differently, it’s not a one-size-fits-all emotion. In the same way we see their different flaws. We choose which flaws we can get over and which ones we get hung up on. We decide if they’re a deal breaker or not, then move towards a relationship or away. One of the worst parts about growing into a healthy adult is that moment when you look in the mirror and wonder what flaws you may have and if they’re holding you back. For me it’s caring too much about the people I love.
You know how in job interviews you should always make your weaknesses sound like strengths? Like my greatest flaw is being too orderly, so I get meticulous about doing everything the right way. That’s just an example, because in reality I’m a sloppy joe. Or like sometimes I lose my patience with customers, but if I keep a smile on my face and try to be helpful it makes it all worth it. Also lies. But an example. So when I say I care too much for people it makes me roll my eyes at myself. I guess the truth is my empathy gets so caught up in others that I forget to worry about checking myself. On the other hand I don’t want to give into pure apathy and turn into a sociopath either.
Being a mom means we’re caretakers. We naturally worry about our loved ones, because it’s our job. That can turn stressful and soon I’m being bossy and am too busy shaping others to shape myself. That’s my excuse. I’m playing the “mom card”. One of my baseline beliefs is that in order to love others, you need to love yourself first.
So I made falling in love with myself a priority. It brings balance and I start to see an outline of the person I want to be. It helps establish an identity and I get to be in charge of what that looks like. It takes the unfair pressure off loved ones to perform for me. Their behavior and love for me isn’t my responsibility, nor is it in my control. This feels right to me. Being self aware lets me rely on myself for motivation, happiness, and inspiration.
I begin to notice what I expect from others and relate it to myself, because I’m not perfect. At all. Am I annoyed that my friend is always late? Guess what? I’m always late, so maybe I need to work on being on time. Am I mad at inconsiderate drivers? Maybe I should make sure I’m being considerate as well. It’s sad that no one was smiling in the grocery store. Am I smiling in the grocery store? Hmm. Wow, self assessment can be uncomfortable. However, if applied in a positive way it can help shape me to be a better version of who I am.
When I’m the depressed, cranky one I’m not doing what I was created to do. I don’t feel very fulfilled. It’s not fun when no one wants to party with Kasi and I like to party so I should probably bring the guacamole and crank it up. Remember to have grace on yourself if you’re not where you want to be. We don’t have to be stuck in the same busted down boat, stuck on a rock in high waves. With work and time it will happen. Positive thinking will be like fresh paint. Then positive actions like new hardware. Your heart will be calm and eventually you’ll be ready to sail. Your vision will be clear. Your past will serve you as wisdom and your future can be navigated depending on the compass you’ve chosen. When you feel good about where you are, seize the moment and be yourself fully. Then you can be there for others in a genuine, real way.
Here’s the thing: I’m trying to have self-accountability between empathy and apathy, because the balance of the two brings me the most peace. If we can take the time to show ourselves the love and respect we give to others, our rose colored glasses can become a little more clear.