Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Today or Tomorrow?
by Teresia Smith

Do you ever feel as though life is passing you by? Like you are always putting things off until tomorrow? We hear so much nowadays about self-care, especially if you have experienced trauma, but chances are that many of us live our life just waiting for a tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll start exercising. Tomorrow I’ll call that friend I haven’t heard from in ages. Tomorrow I’ll read that book that everyone is talking about. Tomorrow I’ll clean and organize my house. Tomorrow I’ll speak up when someone disrespects me. Tomorrow I’ll try that new hobby. Tomorrow I’ll plan that trip that I have wanted to take forever. Tomorrow I’ll make some time for me.
What are you really telling yourself? Tomorrow, when everyone and everything else has been taken care of first, then it might be my time. Why do we put ourselves last? Maybe it takes courage to do the new things and we don’t feel very brave. Maybe we don’t think we are worthy of doing things for ourselves. Maybe someone else is telling us we aren’t as important. If we let ourselves get caught up in meeting everyone else’s needs, and dismiss our own, only finding our worth in what we can do for others, what are we showing the world? We are showing them that we don’t feel important, and that we just gave up on our dreams and passions and we forgot ourselves. Martyrdom isn’t pretty and life becomes drudgery. You see, if you burn out, what good are you to everyone around you who needs you?

Think back in your life and recall some of your dreams and the feeling that future possibilities were endless. Remember the excitement of learning new things, whether that be training for a new career, leading a community service group, learning a new skill, going back to college, or even joining a new craft group or something totally different. Sometimes when we get bogged down by life, we see those things as less important, foolish, and even unwise. Some might even say it’s selfish to take time for you. It is not! You are worth taking the time!

Don’t stop taking care of you. Don’t wait until some vaporous tomorrow to find your passion. Now is the time to ignite your spark again. It might mean giving up some good things to gain something better. It might mean rearranging some things in your life, or even, (gasp), asking for help. You are worthy of a life that is vibrant and exciting! It doesn’t mean you give up your responsibilities and stop what you are doing now. But it does mean that your desires get equal footing. It means you remember your needs with the same resolve that you do everyone else’s needs. Not tomorrow, but today. Stop putting it off. Start with finding one thing today that brings you joy. Start living today like it was your tomorrow.

Often someone who has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence has been told they are not worthy. They hear a repeating record in their mind of all the negative things that have been said to them over and over. This can lead them to stop thinking they are important and they stop dreaming of a future. At Crisis Services of North Alabama, we offer free and confidential services to survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. If you need a safe place to rediscover yourself after violence, you can reach our Jackson County office at 256.574.5826. We also offer a 24/7HELPline at 256.716.1000. You are worth it.

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