I made a resolution this New Year’s Eve that I would do whatever it took to achieve mental clarity. My new goal was to be mentally healthy.
That was my big goal for the year.
So I took a step back from practically everything in my life. I went to work, I went to therapy, I hung out with a few close friends, I went to church, I relaxed, and I did things that made me feel alive. I didn’t really post on social media, I didn’t go out of my way to do anything crazy, and I didn’t listen to a lot of music so I could hear my own heart more clearly.
There were people that naturally didn’t see me during my stint as a hermit, but when they did see me they all had the same question:
“What have you been working on?”
The first few dozen times I was confronted with that question, I made something up, and then quickly changed the subject. It felt too embarrassing, too pathetic to actually answer that question honestly. So that’s who I was for months. In private, I was painfully honest and vulnerable with my own heart, tearing off the parts I didn’t like, and giving myself grace in the healing process. In public, I was content with being a fairly average, nothing special, version of myself.
Then one day, when someone asked me the dreaded question again, I somehow couldn’t bring myself to make something up and said,
“I’m liking myself for the first time in a long time.”
And you know what they said?
“I’m so proud of you.”
[insert wide eyed emoji here]
I was shocked. Proud of me? A friend was proud of me even though all I was doing was liking myself again? Does that mean I’m actually doing ok in life?
There are seasons in life that are filled with accomplishments that everyone else can see, and those seasons are really fun. Those hard-earned milestones deserve to be celebrated. The thing we have to remember is that we are not defined by those external accomplishments. Sometimes, we need to take a season to build our internal empire before we can turn our efforts outward. And that’s ok too. It’s actually more than ok. Sometimes it’s downright necessary. And those milestones also deserve to be celebrated.
So if you have the opportunity to say that what you’ve been doing is liking who you are, guess what?
That is enough.
YOU are enough.
Featured photo for this post by Hannah Foldy