Updated: May 13, 2022
The greatest gift you can ever give yourself is to show up for yourself. It has taken years and many life lessons, but I finally realize the value in ME being my biggest cheerleader and supporter.
For the past few months, I’ve participated in a challenge. The first ten days of each month, I along with a group of ladies made a commitment to wake up early in the morning and complete certain tasks. We start each morning with a drink of water, prayer, reading, exercise, visualizations, journaling, and reciting affirmations. We also do a daily check-in to share our progress and insight during the challenge. Now, I’ll be the first to admit it has been difficult at times, but it helps to have others on the journey with whom I'm accountable.
The first month I participated I felt pressured to keep up with everyone and was intimidated at the thought of finding something profound and enlightening to share with the group. I also felt that if I couldn’t complete all the daily tasks I might as well skip checking in on that day. As a result I was MIA.
The second month I made progress and checked in more frequently. I also realized that I needn’t worry about what everyone else was doing and what they might think if I didn’t check in all the time. I made a conscious decision to go at my own pace. I thought to myself, “I may not be doing 100% of the tasks, but I am closer than I was the last month, and perhaps next time I will do even better!”
Well, we recently wrapped up our third month and this time I checked in every day! I am still working on completing all the items on the list, but I am getting closer. Most importantly, I didn’t give up! I also shared well thought out, heartfelt responses, not written in haste, just saying something to say something. What made the difference? I released myself from feeling pressured. I figured, I will complete what I can, and not take on more than I can handle. I set one goal that I promised myself I would fulfill. I checked in daily and responded to the prompt question. I am so proud of myself for this accomplishment! This has been very helpful to me in discipline, and this month I look forward to completing even more tasks! (Again, no pressure). I showed up for myself.
Showing up for myself began to manifest itself in other ways. Recently, I was doing a daily plan with a dear friend. Part of the plan included a “Talk It Over” section where we’d share with one another our thoughts from the daily lesson. Now my friend was extremely busy and had a lot on her plate. As a result, she was unable to check-in and make a daily response. For a moment I felt alone, and to be honest a little abandoned. I was gleaning so much from the plan, and the personal revelations that I wrote down in the “Talk It Over” section seemed to just pour out of me! I couldn’t wait to share this with my friend, and was anxious to read about her experience, but she hadn’t checked in. A few days went by, and still no word. I thought about quitting the plan but was getting so much out of it that I was determined to see it through to the end. There were times I found myself longing for some sign of encouragement. Then I had the idea to click on the “love it” icon. Yes, I would “love” what I wrote. It might seem strange, but I tell you, seeing that “love it” icon gave me the boost that I needed. That little red heart was like seeing a light in the window, someone was home. I forged ahead and completed the plan. I showed up for myself! Within a few days, my friend was able to participate, and we shared our experience with one another and had an awesome time being transparent and, encouraging each other.
I suddenly found myself becoming more courageous. I began to tackle several things on my laundry list of unfinished projects. I started to realize how important it is to show up for myself, even if at times I felt alone, (although I know that I am never truly alone, as the good Lord is always with me)! I’m becoming more focused, and I’m making it a top priority to not be afraid. No more sitting on my gifts and talents!
Recently I recalled an important memory. It was several years ago, and I was singing in a concert that meant a lot to me and I made it a mission to invite as many of my supporters as possible. When I invited a particularly close friend, they let me know they might not be able to go, and it seemed like they were leaning more towards not going. I, of course was disappointed. I knew how good this concert was going to be and I really wished they would attend. When they told me they still were unsure about their attendance I told them how much it would mean to me if they would come.
Thinking back on that experience, I am sad for my former myself, sad that I didn’t realize what I had was enough. I already had plenty of people who were there for me, and there would be more in the future. How I wish I had a megaphone to shout out this important message, “NEVER BEG PEOPLE TO SHOW UP FOR YOU!” Show up for yourself by recognizing your self-worth. Realize there may come a time when the people who love you can’t show up for you, but you must take it in stride and not take it personally. And those people who consistently are not there for you, who for whatever reason can’t be there for you? Let it go! They weren’t supposed to be there for you at that moment, and it’s okay. If there is a time when they are supposed to be there for you, they’ll be there, and you’ll be grateful. Until then, just know that YOU showing up for yourself is enough! It’s truly the best gift you can give yourself. When we don’t show up for ourselves, we give up hope, and that is something that must never happen.
Showing up for yourself manifests itself in many ways. You show up for yourself when you advocate for your health. You show up for yourself when you show people how you are to be treated. You show up for yourself when you say what you’re compelled to say, but more importantly, (and really hear this), by NOT saying what you’re compelled NOT to say. Sometimes silence is truly golden!
You show up for yourself when you stop procrastinating, when you work hard, when you follow your dreams and achieve your life’s purpose. Show up for yourself. It’s time!
Hope fully ever after...