2020 has been life-altering for many, me included! Initially, I was completely blindsided by the seriousness of COVID-19. In fact, I was traveling home from Spain with my middle daughter when COVID-19 became very real to me. I remember making my way through NY customs, feeling a little panicked as I looked around and saw people with gloves and masks on. My daughter and I were not equipped with either as we shuffled through the crowd trying to make it to our homes’ safety back in North Carolina. Within weeks of that trip, the world as we knew it shut down, and we all began to hunker down in the safety of our homes in an effort to remain healthy and alive.
As if the pandemic were not enough, on May 25, 2020, Officer Derek Chauvin slowly murdered George Floyd in the presence of onlookers who recorded this horrific act for the world to see.
And, the list goes on with our most recent punch to the gut being the death of 43-year-old Chadwick Boseman, who had been battling colon cancer for six years.
Before 2020, I had begun to recognize and appreciate the true blessings and joy of life. The events of 2020 have made me dig a little deeper in my quest to live a life fulfilled and with intention.
Here are four of my mindset shifts that I believe will lead to success in my quest.
If I focus on self-love, the rest will fall into place.
In my piece, Are You In Love With Yourself I explained that I define self-love as
- recognizing that as a human being you are imperfect
- accepting your imperfections
- embracing your imperfections, and
- knowing that you have value and are worthy of what the universe has to offer despite any imperfection you may have
Without a doubt, self-love is the key to my peace and happiness. This is a significant shift in my mindset because it was not until 2018-2019 that I really sought to understand the importance of self-love. Before that, I believed peace and happiness would come from me pouring into others. Certainly, if I poured into others, that energy would be reciprocated, creating peace and happiness.
I am here to let you know that attaching your peace and happiness to others’ peace and happiness is nothing short of a recipe for disaster! And, to be quite honest, it is incredibly exhausting! It left little time for me to get to know the one person I should have been taking time to know myself. And, it always left me feeling inadequate and insecure in some way. After all, I was measuring my worth by another person’s perception of my imperfections.
Self-love shifts the power dynamic and puts you at the center of your universe. Making yourself the center is a win-win for you and everyone near and dear to you because:
- you are able to be the best version of yourself, and
- you are taking away the pressure for those around you to provide what you should be providing for yourself
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have heard, I am too nice. In our world, “too nice” is often code for “you are weak”. I often perceived my kindness as a flaw. My mindset shift has caused me to focus on the environments that equate kindness with weakness. Sure, I cannot avoid all settings where this mindset might exist, but I can surely limit my exposure to those settings. I love being kind. I just need to avoid people and situations where my kindness is not appreciated.
Protect my energy.
I am not everyone’s cup of tea, and everyone is not going to be mine. And that is okay.
I am a very open-minded individual. Sometimes my fear of being perceived as being judgmental has meant that I have allowed people in my space that should not be there. This does not mean these people were bad people. What I didn’t realize is I was confusing being judgmental with setting healthy boundaries in order to protect my energy.
There are so many people in the world, with various views, values, opinions, and beliefs. Because of the diversity that exists, everyone can’t connect on a deep level. That is okay. Protecting your energy is about recognizing the need to set boundaries in human relationships. This, too, is a beautiful act of self-love.
Do more of what makes me happy.
As I LOVE to say, PERIOD(T)! Creating a peaceful, loving, cozy home environment makes me happy.