Hallelujah, I’m blogging again! My last post Rollin’ With the Punches was almost two weeks ago when I mentioned my latest life challenge: a computer breakdown. It hasn’t been smooth but I’m back with more lessons to share about health, well-being and personal development!
At the time of the last post, my computer was fixed with a new hard drive but there was a lot of work to be done, including re-installing all my security programs, email programs, configuring them as well as try to recover my lost files. Well, most of it hasn’t gone very smoothly (meaning having to call the companies for support) but at least I now have enough security to blog and email.
I do apologize if the elapsed time has negatively affected anyone, whether you’re a reader or guest blogger; yet I’m confident I’ve been doing my best considering the circumstances. I don’t feel I need to fully explain the situation because I know I successfully prioritized these last two weeks according to my personal needs.
Before in a situation like this, I would have tried to explain. I would have been racked with stress, worry and guilt because I’d be more concerned with what others would think or how they’d react to my actions (or what would appear to be a lack of action; some would assume I was slacking on my responsibilities as a blogger).
Aha! Not this time. I’m amazed in how I continue to change in positive ways since my spiritual kick-in-the-ass this past summer and in overcoming all it’s subsequent challenges. This time I recognized my needs and priorities, and confidently lived my life at a comfortable pace while dealing with the issues, one at a time, in all areas of my life.
I made those decisions confidently despite what others might think or how they might react. I chose to be respected rather than liked.
I didn’t get (too) stressed that it’s taken so long to get back on my computer because I knew I’d be returning to my hobby and passion when I could manage to do so without compromising my health and well-being. This is the new Steph and it involves accessing my `inner bitch’.
The Old, Sweet Steph and the Consequences
The old Steph (whom I still love and accept) is a sweet, innocent, good-natured woman who constantly thought of others’ feelings, needs and wants before her own.
“But that’s an excellent quality that should be developed,” I can hear you call out to me. “If more people were as selfless it would make the world a better place! Don’t change that!”
But there’s a rub here – if you’re too nice, too generous (especially to those who don’t appreciate it), you often get taken advantage of; and when your giving comes at a cost to your own health and well-being, then you’re not loving yourself and therefore disrespecting yourself.
The old Steph was unsure of herself, and would half-heartedly stand up for herself, beliefs and opinions. I didn’t quite believe in myself in order to be strong to stand up against others’ opinions for what was right. I would often give up and do what was easy: go with the flow and follow the stronger ones around me, even if I knew it wasn’t healthy for me.
Being Healthy, True Self-Confidence & Inspiring Others
Now, interestingly, when I was at my peak health about 3 to 4 years ago, I automatically became stronger and more confident. I DID stand up for myself but because my belief in myself wasn’t quite fully developed, I often became emotionally charged when opposed or felt someone was trying to control or persuade me.
At this point, I came across as resistant, aggressive or pushy myself, and ended up reacting like them (even if it wasn’t their intention) so they felt I was trying to control or persuade them!
The alternative is being self-confident and believing in oneself. When you can do this, you can be less emotional, accept others’ opinions and try to understand them through questions. Hello, conversation!
This shows them you’re trying to understand them (even if you feel you already do understand them and yet still see a different perspective), which in turn usually opens them up to a willingness to try to understand you.
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
After all this and you still cannot agree or even fully understand where each person is coming from, at least you have built some level of mutual respect so that you can agree to disagree and maintain (or even build) the relationship.
The New Steph: Being a `Sweet Bitch’
I’m attempting now to balance my `inner bitch’ with the old, sweet Steph to make a `Sweet Bitch.’ This new Steph makes decisions based on her own health and well-being first, and then considers how it will affect others (if it does), both positively and negatively.
This is a healthy selfishness (read Making Time for Self-Care and What is Healthy, Balanced Caring?) and I believe it comes from self-love, self-respect and trusting oneself. Doesn’t it make sense that when your personal needs are fulfilled, then you have the energy and resources to help others?
The best is that I’m developing my `Sweet Bitch’ in all areas of my life. I’m learning to say no more often and in different ways, to myself and others. I’m recognizing my boundaries and learning how to communicate them clearly and respectfully.
My recent life event and all the subsequent challenges have taught me the most prized self-realization: I know what’s good for me. I intend to never doubt myself again, and to continue believing and trusting myself. I will continue to be open-minded and listen to others’ opinions, following when they seem right to me and staying strong to my own truth if it should be different.
And my biggest lesson of all: forming a strong relationship with yourself is of utmost importance. It must be full of love, trust and respect. How can you expect others to love, trust and respect you if you don’t love, trust and respect yourself?
Do you find yourself making decisions (doing or saying things) because you’d rather be liked rather than respected, so you never know what YOU really want/need? Or perhaps the opposite: where you’d rather be respected than liked so you become obstinate and close-minded?