Updated: Mar 17, 2022
When you take another trip around the sun, people always ask what wisdom you gained with the completion of one trip and the start of another. As I neared the end of my 28th lap, and begin my 29th, some wisdom that highlighted my twenties was to "Choose people who choose you."
I used to take an immediate offense when people didn't reciprocate the energy and efforts I put into our relationships. I used to believe that a lack of reciprocation was a way of telling me that I didn't matter or was of no value. Reciprocation in my eyes resembled validation. It took me becoming more receptive to understand that everyone has different ways in which they express their love, respect, and value for someone. And if it is not shown in the same way, it doesn't make it any greater or less than. With this newfound awareness, I also learned to differentiate between someone's love language and what that meant in the context of our relationship. Essentially meaning, did they find any value in our relationship to share their love language with me or understand mine.
I realized that in some of the relationships I had, I held certain individuals to a higher regard and placed a higher value on them than they did me. As hard as it is to realize that some people don't value you in the same manner in which you do them, it's not something that can be changed. I knew very well that I couldn't change people, nor has it ever been my intention, I can only lead by example and show others how I want and feel I deserve to be treated. Sometimes talking isn't the way to get that message through, action is.
Boundaries. I started setting boundaries left and right like Oprah, "You get a boundary!" "You get a boundary!" "You get a boundary!" Not on no tit for tat shit, more so, "I can't believe I've been swimming in red flags for so long, all I see is red." It's the most pathetic and embarrassing out-of-body experience to continually watch yourself be ignored, unheard, misunderstood, and uninvited by the individuals that you continually place such a high value on. But, it's also the most eye-opening experience. I was blinded by the image and idea that I created of individuals rather than seeing and accepting them for who they presented as face value. In more ways than one, people will always show you their true selves. It's your due diligence to be present, open to receiving and understanding, then make the choice to accept them as they are and stay or walk away knowing that this individual is not serving you in the ways you need.
With receptiveness, understanding, and acceptance comes the freeness of not harboring hard feelings towards anyone. My only way out of the ocean of red flags I was submerged in, was to accept these individuals for who they showed me they were and understand that whether they were a lesson or a blessing, they contributed to my overall growth in some way, shape, or form. They made me better not bitter. That's the power of letting go, it softens a hard heart and fuels the mind with the wisdom it needs to make rational and healthy decisions. I needed to let go of the individuals that I was constantly chasing and expand my tunnel-vision gaze to see all the individuals who have been there all along, showing up and showing out time and time again. I had to come to terms with, I don't have to chase to be chosen. Not with family, friends, work, or opportunities. I have so much going for me and so many people who love me and I should be focusing on those things and those people rather than those who do not.
With the wisdom, I gained as I finished my 28th lap and began my 29th, not chasing to be chosen, I've felt lighter, free, happier. I wake up every day and I choose myself. I choose to always strive to be better than I was the day before. Despite whatever I am personally going through, I choose to put it to the side so I can be fully present and available for my patients in the ways they need. I choose family members who choose me. I choose friends who choose me. I seek the potential of an intimate relationship where my person and I choose one another.
We all have choices in life and decisions that have to be made. It's not about having enough hours in the day, as we have all heard, "We have the same hours in a day as Beyonce." It's about your willingness to choose who and what you value putting your energy and efforts into. Anytime I feel as if I am giving parts of me that are only being received and used without the fuel to fill me back up, I choose to focus myself, my energy, and my efforts elsewhere. There is no excuse. We all make time for who and what we want to. And, if you didn't know, it's okay to be choosy. Be choosy with yourself, your time, energy, efforts, and anything else you find yourself giving away effortlessly or giving to those who may not be deserving. You have the power to put together all of the pieces that create the optimal life you want to live. Choose wisely.