True Life: Call Me By My Name

Life just would not be life without conflict. Without transgressions and struggles and challenges. As someone with a mood disorder, you have got to be almost over protective of yourself because when life’s inevitable challenges occur your response to things could become devastating. This is something I learned about myself over time. I do not do well under large amounts of stress and I do not carry feeling “overwhelmed” well.

Fortunately for me, I am mature, empathetic, emotionally intelligent and self aware. I am typically calm and very introspective. So I can almost always think logically even in times where there are heightened emotions. I realize that betraying your own needs for the sake of someone else’s comfort or even for the sake of peace does not serve anybody. It is nothing honorable about it. And walking on eggshells is a red flag. So I have committed myself to speaking the truth. And speaking my truth and being honest about my feelings at times have led to conflict. I heard someone say “how you feel is always valid, but how you react is not.” And that has just sat with me spiritually. I totally agree. I agree that my feelings are valid and yet sometimes how I expressed or reacted because of those feelings are not. And I can own that. Likewise, how someone else feels about me is fair and valid. But responding with disrespect is just something I no longer have tolerance for. None. No matter how emotional things get. Call me by my name. Don’t call me insults or label me as mean, rude, being weird, inconsiderate. I am none of those things. Call me by my name. Do not project your own insecurities onto me and disrespect me and think that it’s acceptable, especially when I do not treat the people I love that way.

All in all, and what I’ve been learning with breath work is that I can only control me. Which is why as committed as I am to speaking the truth I am also committed to not taking things personally. Even when they hurt. Most of the time in conflict between family members and friends, there is a lot of projection or there has been a lot of piled up resentment that hasn’t been addressed. Again, I cannot take it personally. What I take personally is disrespect. I do not spend time or energy amongst ppl who do not respect me. Even my students know I do not like disrespectful kids. A huge part of my mental well-being literally relies on my ability to feel safe, loved and respected. So instead of continuing to take the disrespect personally, I empower myself to let go of that energy and make choices that reflect my life’s current needs even when that requires unprecedented measures.

I think it’s important to recognize that we are all human beings. And we do not own anyone. despite our relationships to one another. We all make mistakes in order to learn and grow, which is why we need to extend more compassion and grace to others. Instead of accusations and judgements. We need to look more inward and take responsibility for our own actions and shortcomings. Instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game. It is never okay to disrespect someone you love. In fact I wonder how genuine the love is if there is intentional disrespect at all. As someone who has been disrespected you have the choice to tolerate or adjust accordingly. I’m in a space where I have been honoring myself. I have been practicing and sometimes getting it wrong but I have to be intentional about being incredibly discerning of the people I get close to and allow close to me.

My mental health relies on it. ☎️

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