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Make it Your Home

I have a tendency to take care of everyone around me before I take care of myself.

I used to get into fights a lot as a little kid, always in one spat or another. But they were rarely - if ever - brought on because of attitude or aggression. They were usually an insult or threat against a friend being brought to my attention, that would escalate into a fight. For instance, one time in maybe the second or third grade, a friend of mine had made some little boy mad. Mad enough he put his hands around her throat and was choking her out. I remember yelling at him to let go, that she had tears running down her cheeks as her whole face turned purple and still he wouldn’t let go. So I punched him in the face. Just wound up and punched him. Gave him a bloody nose— I got in trouble, but I didn’t care because I’d protected my friend.

As I’ve aged, obviously playground fights aren’t a thing I deal with anymore. But my spats are still the same. Someone messes with one of my friends or coworkers and suddenly I’m an indestructible force of strength, confidence, and wicked, chiding, authoritative tongue. It’s gotten me in trouble too, though not nearly as much as throwing up fists would. I don’t at all find this to be a fault in my personality though. I love my sense of loyalty, my fearlessness in those moments. But what I wish is that it translated to sticking up for myself— being willing to fight for myself.

Too often I’ve just hung my head or bit my tongue when someone has been ill intending toward me. I forgive too easily, put up with too much negativity and mistreatment, and am unbelievably slow to confrontation... When it comes to defending myself, I suck.

And that needs to change.

I keep reminding myself that no one - not one single soul in the world - has the right to be cruel to me, the right to treat me poorly. I try to view a situation through the perspective of if it were happening to a friend of mine, how would I react? Because the expectations I have for how people should treat my friends, needs to translate into how I expect people to treat me. That’s a hard thing, for whatever reason, for me to master. But I’m trying.

What I want to remind you all, in case you’re like me - in search of confidence and stable self-worth - is that it’s not about telling yourself that you’re smart, beautiful, funny, etc... but it doesn’t matter if you are or aren’t. You matter and deserve to be treated with respect no matter you intelligence, appearance, or demeanor.

You belong in this world. You don’t need someone’s permission to make it your home.

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