If I take a moment and dive into the heart of the matter, lately I have been figuring out how to make "me" a priority.
I'll admit, I don't have a problem telling people no. It's easy for me. But I don't know if that's making "me" a priority, or just me being selfish.
I am very open and honest with my feelings, and again - I'm not sure that is me being authentic, or just me projecting how I am feeling onto someone else, in hopes they might see where I am coming from.
Years ago, I went to see a very interesting therapist. I was post first divorce and heading into another life-changing relationship. I knew that as someone who suffers from Panic Disorder, I would need some guidance before the whole "anxiety-ridden" days took over. This therapist was a published author and a bit on the "alternative healing" side - fascinating man. Every time I went into his office, the song by the Indigo Girls, "Closer to Fine," would enter my head: he had a beard and a poster of Rasputin on his wall. Seriously, he did. Out of all of the craziness and very odd conversations we had, the one that really stuck out to me was, "Nicole, dear... this is all you need to remember: It's all about being self aware. Know your triggers, understand you have choices, and you will be okay."
I've repeated that to many friends in dire circumstances, and I always hope that it resonates with them the exact same way it affected me. Something clicked that day, and it made me realize that the people and instances where I have the most trouble, are with people and situations where the other party is not aware of their behavior or even why they think or behave the way that they do.
I believe with all of my heart that if we understand what we are doing, how we are doing it, and the motivation behind it all - then we can proceed more lovingly, more carefully. I think when we change our way of thinking, and see this for what it is, then we begin to prioritize what is important to ourselves and we begin to not only show compassion toward others, we show compassion to our self.
I think this whole concept is the root of what I have been contemplating for weeks. I am trying to come to terms with being alone, truly alone, and understanding my motivation toward the choices I am making in my life now, and in the past. How did I get here? Why did I choose the path that I did? What do I want from life now?
Maybe it's that whole existentialcrisis that some people have in their 40s. Trying to figure it all out while we still have the energy, the time and the money. While many of my friends are getting ready to send their kids off to high school and college, I am trying to figure out what I can leave as my legacy. It's a really heavy thing- the realization that you are put on this world for a purpose, and if you are not procreating, you have to leave something - or what was the point?
That takes me back to priorities and how and what my needs are right here, right now. Being alone has afforded me the opportunity to focus soley on my needs. My mind is clearer, my heart is more open, and I am feeling incredibly vulnerable. I don't have a safety net to fall back on. I have only me, and that is a hard pill to swallow.