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“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” ~ Masaru Emoto, The Secret life of water

“[I]t doesn’t matter whom you love or where you move from or to, you always take yourself with you. If you don’t know who you are, or if you’ve forgotten or misplaced her, then you’ll always feel as if you don’t belong. Anywhere. (xiii)” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

It’s November and I’m wondering if it’s too early to set next year’s new year’s resolutions? Yes, you say? I’m doing it anyway 🙂

For the first time in the 30 years that I have trod this earth, I actually fulfilled my new year’s resolution this year and my little heart is very pleased. So I figured that while I’m still high on my own supply, I might as well set the target for next year.

This new resolution is captured perfectly by this little hashtag #doitforyou. It was inspired by a talk I listened to given by a family friend at a recent bridal shower. That woman’s life story is a blog post on it’s own so let me try to stay focused.

In between all the sound down-to-earth advice she gave about life, she said something magical: a lot of us walk into marriage and relationships with such a desire to please the man that it is what motivates how we act and behave. It motivates how we eat, dress, workout, eat and live. It becomes the purpose of our entire lives. When we are disappointed by the person we have invested so much in, we are completely shattered and every aspect of our lives shatters with it. It’s easy to do the same with a job, friends, family, church etc.

As she was speaking, I experienced a minor paradigm shift. My perception of why and how I do things changed and #doitforyou popped into my head. Instead of building my goals and my life around the people in my life and being motivated to do certain things for the people in my life, I should be motivated to do it for me first. The rest will inevitably fall into place.

I should buy that sexy lingerie because it makes me feel sexy. I should buy jockey underwear because sometimes all I want is comfort. I should buy and wear my high heels because I passionately love shoes. I should seek that promotion because of the sense of accomplishment I will get. I should deliver excellent quality work because I am a brand that I am proud of. I should give my all at work because I know i am yet to reach my full potential and I can’t wait to get there because I will love what I see. I should dress to look good because it pleases me to look put together. I should exercise because even though I hate starting, I feel remarkably good afterwards. I should play hockey because I love team sports. I should coach because it fulfills me.  I should guzzle water because it makes my skin glow. I should go to church because I must nurture my relationship with God and that relationship is important to me. I should love by perfections and my imperfections. So what I have a scoliosis 🙂 I should love laughing and do it often because it’s magic and a little magic is good for me. I should smile because it’s a good look on me (I only discovered this recently). I should read because it was my first love (my mum always bought me books and always let me fall asleep with my nose in a book and boy do I love her for it!). I should dance because it.is.awesome! I should do it all for me.

When you are the motivation behind your actions, you will not fall to pieces when the variable pieces are removed. You will not stop believing in God because your pastor turned out to be a skelem. You will not stop looking after yourself because your husband disappointed you. You will not let yourself go because now you are married and the pressure is off. You will not give up things you love passionately to please someone else and end up resenting them. You will not fall short of who you were meant to be even in the face of disappointment. You will not resent your partner because you feel you had to sacrifice your essence for them.

The truly magical thing about this is that the result will be the best version of you that gives that best of herself/himself to those around him/her. The inevitable side-effect of a happy you is the happiness of those around you.

All this is not to say be selfish. It is to say be true to yourself and your happy heart will have no choice but to bear the fruit of generosity. Choose to dance to your tune. You will be bloody good at it and the rest of us can’t help but dance with you.

#doitforyou Chuwe. #doitforyou.

 “Don’t dare to be different, dare to be yourself – if that doesn’t make you different then something is wrong.” ~ Laura Baker