It’s amazing how our children can give us a wake-up call. As adults we are supposed to be the ones nurturing and guiding them. However, they are watching us even when we are not paying attention. Last month, I hung up the phone and my son looked at me and said, “Ma, you are tired. You are always helping other people, but you need to take care of yourself.” I replied, “You are right.” Then time went on as usual. Approximately two weeks later my daughter boldly walked in my room and stated, “Ma I was looking at some old pictures of you. I’m not saying you aren’t still pretty, but you look so tired now. You need to stop doing so much and take care of yourself.” Finally, last week a co-worker stopped me in the hallway and with great concern asked, “Are you alright? You haven’t been looking like yourself lately.” Hmmmmm, that’s when I told myself, “Chellyz, you bettah get yo life!”
I wanted to help my community, peers, peoples, loved ones, and the world SUCCEED! I was caring and helping others so much that I was beginning to lose my sanity, self, and smile. It was imperative for people to heal, but I was doing so at the cost of injuring me: physically, and emotionally. In the words of my children, “Girl, you doing too much!” Here are the top five lessons I have learned over the years, but I needed to reiterate them to myself and for those who may need a little advice too.
If you say no it doesn’t mean you are the worst person ever to walk the Earth. Having a big heart often means you spread yourself too thin. If you stated, no the first time then you can repeat yourself by answering no again. It doesn’t mean you are selfish, mean or uninterested. It means you must reinforce balance in your daily activities. Life is demanding, and why overwhelm yourself with a list of events to validate someone else’s happiness or to pacify your social media feed. Take a mental snapshot and a break from the hustle and bustle of a hectic schedule. It may not appear like it, but I am learning that it’s ok to choose a few good events to attend each month instead of 15. Well, I’m exaggerating a little.
You can’t give and be a part of every cause. On the blog’s Facebook and Instagram pages, I post many events that are occurring in the city of Detroit. I know that I can’t attend, or can I afford to go to every program, fundraiser or good cause. Therefore, I post the events or programs hoping that others in the community will show their support. My latest slogan is: “I am the Village, You are the Village, We are the Village.” Nope, it is not “Me” or “I am the Village alone.” Collectively, there are enough of us in this village to show up or volunteer at one event per month to make a difference in this city!
Be aware of who you befriend. Bad spirits will drain YOU. Lord knows I have learned many lessons while volunteering or helping others with their vision. One lesson was costly! Just because someone seems sincere doesn’t mean their heart is right. People may utilize your gifts and talents for their own good. Choose who you want to help wisely. Even when we use our best judgement, we still may experience hurt. At times, I would become angry with myself for allowing my heart to help others who caused me pain. However, I must remember friendships, and bonds have their season. Learn from the situation, release it, and keep things moving. Believe me life is too precious to become consumed with people and circumstances that can’t or don’t want to change. Use your energy for something more productive.
The same way you pour into others, don’t forget to pour into yourself. Time is of the Essence. You know you have plans, and a vision for your life. It’s wonderful to push, encourage, motivate, and assist others when you can. However, don’t forget to plan, prepare, cultivate, invest, dedicate, and sacrifice for what you want to achieve out of life. Don’t lose sight of your dreams while helping others. I have mentioned this before on many other occasions.
Detox, Defuse, and Disconnect. Get rid of any unwanted stress or negativity that latches onto you and causes you to want to give up on everything. Over the past few months a few well known individuals have committed suicide. People are losing hope, because they are losing their coping mechanism skills. Social media is providing a false sense of happiness. As for myself, my energy level was extremely low. I was allowing depression to drive my actions. My past was tugging at my present and weighed me down. I was losing focus of my future. Maybe, if I stay busy, I won’t have time to be sad. Maybe, if I help others with their Dreams then I won’t place any effort in mine. Therefore, I won’t have to worry about failure. Maybe, if I give my all to the community then my environment will become an oasis. Maybe, if I am nice to everyone, they will be nice to me. Maybe, if I support every cause, when it’s my season they will support me. Big announcement!!!! Quit trying to satisfy everybody, and everything. Refuel, Replenish, and Reconnect with yourself. Most importantly, seek professional help when you need to!!!!!!
Those are a few keys that helped me regain my sanity, self, and smile. Hopefully, they can help motivate you also. I decided to take care of myself (again). I have my cycles of ups and downs. A few people even stated I’m starting to look like my old self again. I have my moments, but I have a checklist to remind me to get back on track. If you see me in these streets and I am having a bad day, just give me a smile and say, “Hey don’t just preach about the lessons you type but learn to live them.
-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!