July 10th 2020
One of the best pieces of advice my dad ever gave me was “if you want good things in your life, you have to be good for them.”
I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about mental health and how many of us approach issues surrounding mental health, namely, our own mental health. For me, my relationship with mental health has been a bit rocky over the years with dramatic highs and lows.
At my highs, I am my ideal version of myself. I do things that make me happy such as writing, listening to music, getting dressed up and taking pictures of myself because I feel genuinely empowered, and eating healthy nourishing foods that make me feel good inside. And, at my lows, I often shy away from the things that make me “me”. I fall out of blogging, have less and less desire to be physically active, put next to no thought into what I wear or how I look, and I eat when I remember and, when I do, it is usually garbage.
Right now, I think I am in an in-between phase. I am definitely starting to feel myself again for the first time in a really long while. I have gotten the motivation to write 2 blog posts this week which is incredible considering I vanished from the platform for about 6 months towards the end of last year. I have been taking tons of hot baths, watching YouTube content creators that I love and haven’t watched recently, I got back into reading tarot again, and I am beginning to feel that wanderlusty urge to explore again.
However, I am still embodying some of my low qualities like not eating the best or at least not eating enough “real” meals and I feel like I am not sleeping enough or getting enough rest and my urge to do physical activity is sort of meh right now. I want to get back into my yoga practice but there are very few days I look at my mat across the room and feel motivated enough to get up and unroll it. My instructor/guru/friend told me that I need to just do it whether or not I want to until one day I genuinely feel I want to. Which, I suppose is a good way to approach it. Fake it til you make it in a sense.
But what I am doing and what I am not doing is not the point of this post. The reason I am posting today is because I really want to discuss the value of healing and becoming a better version of yourself for yourself and not for others.
I used to let a lot of my personal growth and desire to grow be very situational. I would only work on things that would help improve my situation or relationship with people in the current moment and not because I actually saw the value in helping myself. You may be thinking, “that’s great that you had people and things in your life that made you want to be better!” but the thing I want you to take away from what I just said are the words “in the current moment.”
I never really saw the value in long term changes if I could fix my situation for a little bit while I “figured stuff out.” I think saying we are going to figure stuff out is the worst lie we can tell ourselves because it is the same as saying “I am too scared and confused to do what it actually takes to deal with my problems, so instead, I am going to pretend to mull it over in the hopes that it’ll all work itself out.” I did this SO MANY TIMES before finally deciding to get a proper medication for my hormonal mood swings and to start seeing a therapist and started doing some actual, genuine, painful healing.
But now, I am seeing a therapist, talking to friends and people whose opinions I trust, and spending a lot of time with me and I am finally starting to feel myself becoming the empowered version of myself that I know I can be and the change came when I started doing it for me and not for the situation or the people around me.
Healing for you and being better for you is what makes the huge difference. Because, by healing for yourself, you are aligning yourself with things that are made for you instead of trying to contort yourself to fit a situation that isn’t right for you. Instead of trying to become the perfect employee or the perfect partner or the perfect friend for a particular job or person, instead, try to become the best version of you and see what that gets you. You may find that you will become less in touch with things that don’t serve you and more in touch with the things that are meant for you.
I really consider it to be some Law of Attraction stuff! You start becoming who you are meant to be and you become like a magnet that is attracting the things that are meant for you and repelling the things that will drag you down. I find that manifesting things in your life actually comes with a fair share of loss, but it is all healthy because you are losing things that weren’t allowing you to reach your full potential. And healing for you means that you own all of your accomplishments and you don’t owe thanks to anyone else but yourself for getting you where you need to be.
Is that to say that you can’t seek encouragement or motivation from friends and family when you are looking to improve? Of course not! Having a good support system is such a vital part of personal growth. The point is that those people shouldn’t be the reason you choose to change, they should be a factor that drives you forward. It is like saying “I want to be better so I can be happier with myself and, in turn, have healthier relationships with my friends/family/partner” instead of saying “I want to be better so my friends/family/partner aren’t disappointed in me or so they won’t leave.” There is a difference between being motivated to grow and being manipulated into growing.
If a person or situation in your life is pushing you to “improve” in ways that don’t feel organic to you or in ways you don’t feel you are ready to grow, that is not healthy growth and will only hinder you in the long run and create co-dependency. Healthy growth comes from waking up with the desire to be better no matter who is watching. Healthy growth is keeping some accomplishments to yourself and relishing in personal victories. Healthy growth comes from your heart and not from your fears.
For me, I am choosing to heal and grow because I miss how I used to live for the love of being alive. For quite a while now, I really have felt that I have just been getting by and now I am feeling really motivated to get back to that point where I do feel I am genuinely living. And I want to exceed that point and become an even better version of myself than I have ever been and align myself with things and people that I could never imagine having in my life before.
I am healing for me because I have watched enough people push away their problems and spend their lives avoiding genuine healing, that I know I want to do more and be more than that. I want to wake up one day and feel as though I have accomplished what I set out to do and be a bright person with a sincere love for life who lives their life fully and knows that nothing is out of their reach and nothing is unattainable.
I am healing for me because I realized that healing for someone else isn’t healing at all.