Written by Diane Dutchin
I rarely start an article with questions, but this one is warranted. If you keep doing exactly what you are doing now for the next ten years what will your life look like? Will you be thriving, healthy, fit, alive and fearless? Or will you be heavier, unfit, more depressed, fearful, and in a strained relationship?
Recently history was made in the US – the swearing in of the first black President, I couldn’t help but stop to think about what brings about change. President Obama isn’t where he is today over night or by chance, he had to act, had to make movement to get to where he is today; he was proactive. So we can all agree that change is a process that requires action. We see the crowds and hear the cheers of millions, who are embracing this change, but how many of them are actually embracing and making personal changes that would better their lives? If my life isn’t in a better place than where it was a year ago or 6 months ago, then I’m stagnant, and need to make adjustments or changes that will bring about positive results in my life. Let me state that age should never be used as an excuse to defer change, you’re never too old, and putting the breaks on because you’re too young and feel you have all the time in the world is the wrong attitude to have.
Many of us run from change because of fear and a lack of faith in ourselves – we’d rather stay in an unhealthy relationship simply because we know what we have to put up with, even though we’re living in a toxic environment, all the while self sabotaging our lives. We stay for reasons that usually provide temporary self-gratification to cover or make excuses for the verbal, mental, and at times physical abuse. To deal with our hurt we turn to vices as a temporary bandage to mask the pain, and give into the vicious cycle that gives another person the power to control us with an invisible collar and chain. We are created to be loved and to love – loving ourselves first is the greatest step to becoming whole again. So embrace you, love you, because if you don’t love you and respect you, and believe you deserve the best; then trust me, no one else will give it to you. You will sell yourself short every time, by settling for second best, finding yourself back into another toxic relationship. You can’t love another person if you don’t love yourself – it is virtually impossible to do. You can argue with this point, but if you don’t love yourself, then how can you know what the true expression of love is for another?
We don’t have to allow our past to dictate or control our present and future. If our past relationships still have a hold on us, then we’re stuck in that bubble, while those who inflicted the pain move on with their lives.
Would we allow our bodies to be hooked up to a machine that feeds poison into our veins for any price? Yet emotionally and mentally we sometimes do. Answering this question should empower us to make healthy changes, it comes down to “How much do you love you?”