To the guilty over-thinker who worries what people think when Sunday service just doesn’t happen. To the one who is constantly hoping he/she is pretending their energy is convincing enough. To the person who is just flat out tired and wants to do absolutely nothing when the weekend comes. To the person who feels guilty for having to say no and not volunteer, even though months ago, you would have been the first one to sign up. This piece of love I’m pouring out is for you.
You. Don’t. Owe. Anyone. An. Explanation. When. It. Comes. To. Your. Health.
You don’t. You just…don’t. Stop adding to your stress. Stop letting doubt and unnecessary thoughts creep in and bring you down even further. You deserve to navigate your difficult time in peace, at your pace and without judgement. One week, you might feel on top of the world and you’ll be able to do all the things! You’ll show up at all the events, be the most talkative person during meetings and the one who’s hosting the Bachelor/ Bachelorette watch party with wine and a Pinterest worthy Charcuterie board.
And then the next week, it’ll all drop. It might take every bit of your energy to crawl out of bed and make it to work each morning. You might not see the point in makeup or a nice outfit or even showering. You’ll retreat from those who love you.
Though that second half isn’t healthy for you, it happens. They do. And when they do, you have to process those lows the best way you can. Don’t force yourself to go to dinner with the fam or on that outing with your team after work. Say no when they need you to work a booth at a children’s function. Now…Say yes to those things if they satisfy you and feed your soul. Say no if it will drain you. There’s a difference and it’s important you find that balance. You can’t do all the things when your health is question. If you can…write a book, create a podcast…Tell others your secret!
I wish I’d given this up a long time ago.
Call it paranoia, the pressure to make sure I’m always thought of in a good light or plain insecurities-but, that’s how I’ve been anytime I just couldn’t be, well…me. I constantly worried what my family and friends thought. But the real struggle was unintentionally giving people outside of my immediate circle power over my well being. When you spiral into your thoughts and guilt over what others think, you are giving them a power over you. And this might sound dramatic to some, but I know I can’t be the only one who’s mind likes to turn to the worst when it comes to what people think. I used to not be this way, but when my health went a little south, I felt bad for not being able to give 100% of myself at times. I worried if people thought I was lazy or uninterested. And then when people did find out what was going on, I worried if they thought I was weak or dramatic. My issues aren’t external. They’re internal. And because they’re internal, I pushed myself even harder because, well let’s face it…Unless the pain is visibly seen, compassion doesn’t register for some people.
But there’s only so much your body can take.
When you’re struggling with something-whether it’s emotional, mental or physical-the fix doesn’t happen over night. It can be a long process that wears on you. So why add to your pile? Why let yourself believe the people around you deserve an explanation?
My advice is simple, but not easy to follow at first. I still struggle with this, but not as much as I used to and it makes a world of difference! So…when it comes to explaining yourself to others…
Let it go…Channel your inner Elsa and let the need to explain yourself to people go.
I know it’s cheesy, but for some people, I know this article is hitting home right now! And to those of you who wish you could do exactly that…to let it all go…I’m here to be that little reminder, that voice in the back of your head telling you that you can! It won’t happen over night. And it won’t be consistent. But you owe it to yourself to take your struggles at your pace without adding what others think to the pile. Give yourself a break. You deserve one.
One more thing! A bit of advice that leans a little on the blunt side…Let’s bring this back to church.
I spent months worrying what people thought about my faith. (Face palming as I typed those ridiculous words.) Physically, I live forty five minutes to an hour away from all those people and for some silly reason I worried what they thought if I wasn’t able to make it to church on Sunday, when in reality…they didn’t even notice if I was or wasn’t there. My name hardly ever crossed their minds. Now…I’m not saying everyone lives in their own bubbles, but they do have their own lives and unless they notice, they might not even think twice about you failing to meet an expectation you set for yourself, which brings it all back to the whole creating scenarios in our head thing. When is the last time you thought about your first college roommate? Bet you are now since you were prompted to!
But there will be those sweet moments that make your day, little texts or Facebook messages from someone who thought of you out of the blue and wonders how you’re doing. When those people reach out and ask how you are, it’s entirely up to you if you want to add one more person to your army. I highly recommend bringing as many people as possible into your corner when you’re at a low. Because…We unfortunately do live in a world where people will speak without even considering what you might be going through. It’s unavoidable and unfair, but that is why letting go of that need to explain yourself can break those chains and give you a relief you may have not even realized you were needing.
It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Surround yourself with good people. Reach out to your army when you have those doubts. Let them love you and help you.
Let them help you let go of the need to explain yourself to people and find that inner peace in knowing that you are the priority.