I've had a long several years.
In 2007, I experienced a lot of pain physically and was very sick. I weighed 102 pounds and was told death was around my corner. I fell out with all of my friends and secluded myself from everyone. All I did was work. Hard. For everyone else but myself.
In 2009, I lost my father. He was only 50. It is still difficult to talk about or think about the fact that we were laughing on the phone, and then 45 minutes later I got a call that he had passed away. I felt like my life was really starting to spin out of control.
In 2010, I shut down my business of rescuing trafficked teens after working for 10 years, with no reality show, TV specials, or cameras. I did it from my heart, not for the accolades of man. I felt the pain of each and every teen I encountered, and I took in the pain that they had as my own. At the end of 2010, my partner (someone I had known since high school) broke up with me, the day after my birthday, and never talked to me again.
I could go on, but you get the point. I've been experiencing a lot while running a business online and offline and raising 2 1/2-year-old twins. After becoming a mom, I knew my life had to change. I closed down my coaching business. How can I help other people when my kids need help now? How can I help other people who don't really want the help; they just want someone to vent to and give them advice they know they will make an excuse not to take? I got tired. So, I decided to start doing things that make me happy. Watching my mom get up and go to work wasn't making me happy. I knew that my mom really desired to start another daycare, but had tried several years ago and didn't get enough kids to quit her day job. When I was a kid, I loved the fact that my mom was home all the time, and my house was like a toy store. I loved all of the kids in my mom's daycare, and my teacher, Mr. Randall, would drive me home for lunch several days out of the week, where my mom had gumbo, jambalaya, or some amazing dish prepared.
I realized this year that in order for me to get back to my base of happiness, I have to take it back to where it all started. So, this year I told myself I was going to retire my mom. Got her the retirement car and everything. As of November, my mom is opening up a daycare again, but it's just to service the twins. I have a preschool teaching coming in the house once a week now, and sincerely, I'm not at all impressed. My mom taught the twins how to talk, she taught me how to prepare their food, and the twins have been vegetarians thus far, have never had juice, and are big and healthy. I have kept track of every single thing my twins have eaten since they were born, and I have been slow to introduce things that could be potentially dangerous, or habit forming (i.e., sugar and heavy seasoning). All of this is because of my mom. She's the one who needs to be with them, not some nanny I have to monitor on my nanny monitor all day long. They've also never been sick. Not one day.
Being highly sensitive and highly empathetic is rewarding and it's also a very difficult gift to manage. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself taking on the pain of others in a way that makes you want to solve problems that people themselves don't take the time to work out.
My mom likes to watch Iyanla on OWN, and she said something very poignant the other night that Iyanla had told someone, "If they're broken, they can't love you because they don't love themselves." I have tried to come out and mingle with folk, only to be ostracized due to the insecurities some have with the light I possess. I realize that not everyone can deal with someone like me. I realize that my light to some is a problem. I cannot dim it for anyone, and I wouldn't want or encourage anyone to dim their light in order to keep someone around who probably dwells in darkness.
Speaking of darkness, I also had to admit to myself that lately, I've been around some really dark people. There are people close to me who are experiencing a lot of issues of their own, and they have come to me to dump them off on me because I never explained to them that I can't take on the problems of others. I've had to disconnect myself from people who no longer serve me. I know that people are drawn to my light, but, in my downtime, I cannot be in the presence of people who are dark, and who continue to repeat the same things over and over again while playing the victim. I can't offer advice, or sit and listen to anyone who is living a life that I don't approve of. I let go.
I let go of the need to have people around me. I'm never lonely, but sometimes, I need to be alone. I need to be in silence. I need to to be in a good space. Sometimes that space is taken up by someone who wants to vent to me, but, I now direct myself to other things and give no time for others to use me as a sounding board. I've turned my Pandora back on. Music is my white noise. It doesn't talk back to me or give me victim stories.
I am letting go of the need to answer everyone's questions, speak at everyone's events, and overall, I'm opening up another non-profit, this time a foundation, as well as a human training seminar company, so I can serve in a bigger way. I am in a space of being very uncomfortable, and I enjoy it. I thrive here. I thrive in a place where creativity flows. I thrive when I am free from distractions and needless banter. Right now, I am thriving. I am thriving because I am putting myself as my priority and leaving others to figure things out on their own. I cannot, and I will not have my kindness mistaken for weakness. When I feel this way, I back all the way up, retreat, and say goodbye silently. I don't thrive in drama, and I don't want to be around people who seem to love it.
Sometimes, you have to end this to begin that, and it starts with letting go even when it's uncomfortable to do so. You will get comfortable with your faith as you begin to test it, and it performs above your expectations. Let go of the distractions. They do not serve you, but rather, serve their own ego.
Have a great weekend.