I’ve always held a high regard for my relationships. They are one of the aspects of life that I find the most beautiful and sustaining. When my father died, one of my closest relationships abruptly ended and processing that has been more than difficult. It has stretched my emotional strength beyond comprehension. It has changed me.
Like most who grieve I withdrew. I needed some time to not have to express myself. I needed time to avoid answering, “How are you?” Some gave me space. Some reached out more. Some gave me so much space that I find it nearly impossible to fill it again. While I have learned about my relationships with others—who stepped up, who stepped out, and who is somewhere in between—one valuable lesson I learned was the importance of one relationship I hadn’t considered. I was failing to take care of me. I couldn’t check out from myself. I couldn’t give myself space. Those were not options. I needed to deal with me.
Having the support of others is vital and I have been tremendously blessed with loving and strong relationships. However, there were still some things that I needed to do. I made a commitment to myself years ago. Even if I had an off day, even during difficult times, even when I felt broken, I was always—and still am—responsible for me. No matter what others provided, whether wonderful or questionable, I remained responsible for me. I still had to make good choices, learn from my experiences, and love myself enough to work through the pain.
You may be facing a difficult situation or in the middle of a challenging transition. Whether you have the support of many or a few, you still have a part to play in your process. It is not easy and at times, it may feel impossible. Yet it is always in your benefit to love yourself enough to put in the work. Love yourself enough to exercise patience. Love yourself enough to ask for help. Love yourself enough to stand up. Love yourself enough to commit to your healing. Love yourself enough to be your advocate. Love yourself enough to be honest. Love yourself enough to provide the same level of support that you have provided to your loved ones. Love yourself enough.