Take Care Of Yourself First
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Take Care Of Number One First

You are your own emotional guardian. The job may seem daunting, but I can promise you that there's no one else better fitted for the task.

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Take Care Of Number One First
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Repeat after me:

I am not selfish for wanting to put myself first.

I am not selfish for letting go of those who have anchored themselves to me.

I am not selfish for not allowing myself to be walked over.

I am not selfish for refusing to settle for anything less than who I am.

-

For most of us, we have spent (or are currently in the middle of) most of our lives walking on eggshells with the idea of pleasing everyone around you. We give and give and sometimes it feels like we barely have a chance to actually take before we are immediately called to give everything we have once more, which is fine...until it's not.

I could advise that all you need to do is stand up to certain people in your life and voice your concerns, except it's easier said than done. We can feel trapped in the current situation we may be in, like no matter how hard you're yelling, no one seems to be listening. So what do we do? We repress like nobody's business and pretend like we're okay, which is fine....until it's not.

It all starts with small steps: Finding those who will listen, lightening the load of everyone else's problems you have on your back and begin dealing with more of your own. More than likely, the people who entrap us in a toxic mindset are the same ones we hold near and dear to our hearts. We may use the excuse of "Well they're family/my close friend, I HAVE to love them" but that should not be the case. While family is important, what constitutes a family should not be simply being blood relatives, but being surrounded by those who will not only love you unconditionally, but treat you as an equal and not diminish your worth. That goes for friends as well, it may feel like there may not be anyone else out there for us but I can guarantee you that there is. Friends come to us in the most uncommon of ways and the people you may have never pictured yourself with could be the ones that make you start looking past tomorrow.

One of my best friends would always tell me the phrase, "look out for number one" because she knew I had a tendency to worry about everyone but myself. While it is important to put others first and not be selfish and narcissistic, what I'm saying is that there will be times where the only opinion that should matter is your own. It can be easy to be influenced by the input of others around you that may even discourage you from doing something you had really looked forward to. What hurts the most is not being supported by the ones we love most, however, what will hurt more is having to be in a place where you are always crouched in the shadows.

Do not feel guilty for not wanting to go out with friends one night or missing a day of school and instead spending that time at home. You need time to mentally rest and do not need a "valid excuse" for taking care of yourself. Putting yourself in overdrive mode 24/7 can lead to an increase in anxiety and depression.

Do not feel guilty for letting your parents know how their words and actions make you feel. Tell them you are your own person and while they may not react properly, the seed has been planted in their minds. Your parents are supposed to be your rock and their negative output can not only damage how you view yourself, but instill the mindset of never being good enough.

Do not feel guilty for leaving the person who treats you like a therapist and a carrier of their emotional baggage. There is only so much you can do to help someone and you should not be responsible for someone else's happiness.

Do not feel guilty for letting go of the lover who sees you as one step below them rather than on their same level. The one who is possessive, manipulative, and causes you to ignore those red flags. You may adore them, your heart may beat for them, but all they are doing is forcing you to stay. Doing something "out of love" does not involve any form of abuse.

You shouldn't feel like you have to walk on eggshells or like you aren't entitled to an opinion. Although it may not feel like it, you are the main protagonist in this story, not the background character, and you should act like it.

Be bold, be brave, speak out when necessary, and under no circumstance, allow ANYONE to undermine the glorious individual that you are meant to be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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