Growing and Getting Through

During the semester it may be difficult for students to balance their personal lives and their academic conquests. At some points it may even feel as though you are going “crazy” between dealing with the stress at home, at work, and at school. As a  student I can attest to how difficult it is to find time to make everyone happy, but the truth is it’s impossible to satisfy everyone’s needs and your own! You may be thinking to yourself, “That’s not true, it is possible to make everyone in my life happy.” My response to that would be “If you are making everyone happy, are you yourself truly happy? After you’ve done everything for everyone else, how do you feel mentally, physically and emotionally? Are you strong enough to do all you need to do for yourself as well or do you find yourself feeling exhausted and drained?” I think once you reflect on those questions, you will realize  that living only to please others has in fact been taking away from you pleasing yourself.

I decided to discuss this topic this week because at the tender age of 24, I have finally realized that I am not capable of making everyone happy. I thought that I was strong enough to balance my personal and academic life, while also being there for everyone else. In all actuality, I was absorbing everyone else’s issues and adding them on to my own personal problems. Days would go by and I would feel consumed with anger and stress, but I couldn’t put my finger on the issue. One day I decided to find a way to occupy my wandering mind, and I found a book that changed my outlook on life. The name of the book that I found solace in is called “All About Love: New Visions” by bell hooks . This book opened up my mind to the possibility that I was the root of my problems. I was causing myself a lot of stress and frustration because I was dwelling on issues that were out of my control rather than moving on and accepting things for what they were.

After reading this book I looked at my life through a different lens, and I began to adapt the ideas in this book to my personal life. I noticed that the more that I accepted the things bell hooks provides in her book, the more relationships in my life began to change. Not only were the dynamics in my relationships beginning to change, I was also growing and I could see my growth. I was accepting that there are things that I cannot change, allowing myself to work through issues in a positive light, and expressing my inner most thoughts that I historically tried to harbor inside of me. This change in the way I was navigating through my life helped me mentally, and physically. Not only was I feeling better about the things I could and couldn’t do, but I was also able to feel more confident in completing the academic work I had to do for myself. This book “All About Love: New Visions” has taught me about  more than the dynamics of love;  it also taught me so much about myself. It showed me that in order for me to find a way to say no to others so that I could say yes to myself, I had to grow. I had to grow out of the current position I had placed myself in, and go through a metamorphosis into a new me.

I want each of you that are reading this blog to know that in life sometimes you must unapologetically take your feelings into consideration before others. I am not saying to be selfish because there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of others. Rather what I’m saying is you must first work on your own personal happiness, and then you have to pick and choose what you can do for other people. Don’t over exert and extend yourself to help others when you need to take care of yourself. Instead, do what you can for others, while also making sure you are okay in the process. I know that making such a drastic change as taking care of yourself as much as you take care of others won’t be easy. However, in order for you to be happy, healthy, and mentally stable you must take the appropriate steps to comfort and console yourself.

I urge everyone who is reading this blog to take a moment and ask yourself:

  1. Have you cried randomly in the last few weeks?
  2. Are you doing too much for others and feeling unappreciated?
  3. Do you often feel like you are overwhelmed with your life?

If the answer to any of these questions are yes, then you need to take a break and take care of yourself. The only way for you to feel better about any situation you are in is for you to practice self-care and make sure you are okay.

Feel free to use the comment box below to vent about what’s on your mind.
And, has anyone read this book that helped me so much ? If so, leave a note about your experiences with it!

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