“It’s all about you and what you need,” said my friend Val to me one day when we were chilling out at a local cafe. I couldn’t look her in the eyes. Instead, I sat staring at my chai tea. If I truly admitted it, I’ve always had problems putting myself first. I love to please other people and thought I was pleasing myself in the process.
Now, I had two relationships that were draining me. One was a friend who was suffering from severe depression. I had been there for her when she had stopped eating and drinking, causing us to take another trip to the emergency room. She called at all hours desperate to talk for hours on end (although I had to be up early for work, I still took her calls). Another was a boyfriend. I cared for him, but he wasn’t really acting like a supporting character in my life. Instead, life was all about him and his accomplishments. I just got tossed into the fold and felt used.
I was exhausted and had allowed others to take advantage of me. Every time the phone rang, I flinched fearing there was a desperate need for me to drop my life for them. At one point, I even stopped checking my e-mail. What was the point? These people were using me and really didn’t care about me unless I took care of their needs first.
Then there was one night. You know that night. When you’re sitting staring at the television not really watching, but needed something to occupy your mind. You’re mindlessly eating something you thought was comforting, but you weren’t really hungry in the first place. That was the night that I realized I was allowing the relationships to dictate my life.
As Psychic Saphira ext. 5243 explains in the video, I did need to take back my own power. I had to figure out what it meant to be true to myself. In writing a list of what was important to me and talking with a therapist, I found that I really wanted to spend more time by myself. I was surprised to find out that I was truly entering an introvert phase. Giving myself permission, I entered it gladly. Here I was in a new big city (Los Angeles) for almost a year and I had barely explored it. It was exciting to find that I didn’t need anyone else to be with as I set about exploring my new home.
By making plans and sticking to them, I found myself changing. I pushed myself to not answer the phone so quickly when people called. If I was busy reading a book (or driving), I wouldn’t answer it. There is a reason for off switches! E-mails went days without notice or reply (or guilt). They could wait for me. After a couple of weeks, I found my energy was changing.
Surprisingly, I found that when I did reconnect with my friends, I knew it was over. Facing my dear, depressed friend, I honestly told her that I could not be her caretaker. She needed a professional, and what I was doing was pushing the boundaries of what I was capable of handling. She needed to take better care of herself, and I was enabling her to not accept that truth.
To the self-engrossed boyfriend, it was even easier to say goodbye. It wasn’t long before I heard he was with someone else. In my heart and mind, I wished them well.
The biggest lesson I learned is that I didn’t hate these people after all. When I had found my own power, I also found compassion for these people. It was comforting to see them for who they were at this time in their life, regardless if they would ever appreciate me for me. With this, I really began to appreciate myself and my new-found power.