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Put Yourself First!

I am a woman of many talents and wear many hats. However, my new counseling career became a passion for me because our mental state is so important and many tend to put their happiness aside for others, whether it is family, friends, or children. I found that many individuals live life without a sense of individuality because they are doing everything for everyone else, forgetting they matter too. I love helping people from all walks of life develop new ways to deal with life stressors. After exploring many jobs over the years, including joining the United States Army Reserve for eight years, I had many years to reflect on what makes me happy and how to be myself.

Think back to when you were able to say what you feel without worrying about being judged and felt comfortable in your own skin. At first it was an eerie feeling but then when your voice was heard and validated, you could not stop smiling. Have you ever been that person? Most individuals’ behaviors are due to what they have witnessed in their childhood through their parents, also from others they have surrounded themselves with over time. There are those who want to fit in, those who are looking for love, and those who have no clue who they are as an individual. Friendships and acceptance by others become comfortable and familiar for most. Therefore, the first time you look in the mirror and see your true self you will feel scared. Now is the time to pay attention to your wants and needs. You are not obligated to play by other’s rules. 

I was reared by a mother who was an only child, whose parents were both deceased since she was 16 years old. On the other hand, my father has seven siblings and grew up in a full household. Neither one of my parents graduated from high school. My family dynamic was functional but not healthy as my father was abusive to my mother, yet an okay father and a great provider, as far as the household needs were concerned. However, as a child, physically, spiritually, and mentally I was great, but emotionally, I was always nervous, and wondering if this is the way a family should be.

Luckily, I inherited my mother’s resilience and strengths. No one knows how their life will begin or end up as we continue to grow into adulthood but determination and the will to want better allows for the life you desire. Obstacles are going to incur within your life at some point, but as the old saying goes, “you can do whatever you want.” Life is what you make it.

Life stressors do not have to impact your life all day, every day. Find time to gain perspective on what makes you happy and how to accomplish that. What is in your control is your behavior, your reactions, to others and how you choose to live your life. You cannot control or change other people. Change your perspective on life and yourself. Discover what is stopping you from living your best life and go for it. It may mean getting rid of things and people, so be prepared for what comes next. Put yourself first!


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