Make A Way Mindset™: What I wish I knew…

This week’s post will be a little sentimental, but it’s on my heart to tell you this. I have had a real long two years. I know… who hasn’t right? I get it. It’s been an icky time for all of us, but I wish I had focused more on just knowing that this. is. life.

This is it.

It’s all we get, and no one ever said it was gonna be easy. No. No one ever said it would be perfect. There is no formula for getting through this life.

What I wish I knew is that every day is a win. It’s not about your accomplishments or your connections. It’s about being here and being present. That’s the win.

For about ten years now I have been saying every day, multiple times a day, “I am exhausted.” And I am, but looking back at the last decade, I wonder how much I called this in to existence. Heck, I said I was exhausted so much, I am really surprised no one started calling me that by name. I am looking back at an absolutely exhausting two years and I am wondering… how much did these statements weigh me down?

This week I decided I had had enough. I am done with declaring I am tired. I just need to deal with it. What is in my control and what is not. I am also done with trying to interpret the motives and the actions of others. Something I believe has strongly contributed to the exhaustion I have felt growing in my mind and in my body over the last several years. I started a business and have been more shocked and saddened by the actions of people in business that I was by the actions of people I met on my caseload in Child Protective Services. I think because the decisions and the actions of those on my caseload were desperate, last resort actions by people I had never met, as opposed to the willful harm inflicted by people who I thought were my friends. And, if you’ve been in business, then you know this happens over and over and over again. And it is exhausting.

I wish I had known that people are always going to do what is best for them, and that is just that. They owe you nothing. We are all just animals out here trying to get what we can. We are no different from animals in the wild in that way. I am thankful that I am here today. I am showing up. And I have not let the actions of others, though they hurt me, control my natural ability to give and care for others.

War and pandemics, and differing politics can divide us, or they can unite us. I am accepting this. I know what side I fall on. That is all I can control. I am no longer declaring I am exhausted. I might still be tired, but I am here, and I am present, and I am kind. People will sometimes tell you that you are not kind when you exert boundaries that you have not before. That has definitely happened to me, but I am not moved by this. I wish I had known that I know who I am and that is enough. I do not need to exhaust myself trying to show who I am to others.

I am overweight because I have spent my entire adult life pouring into others. I am going to try pouring into me for once. I am going to date myself, love myself, listen to myself, and believe in myself. I wish I had known how exhausting it is to spend your life trying to make sure everyone else (but you) is good.

Today, I got out of the bed with a smile on my face. I have not complained- not one time. I went to get my hair done, had lunch with a friend, worked on a dream, and then took this time to listen to this message floating in my head and write it all out. I am lifted. I am energized, not exhausted at all. Today, I am repeating these words instead: I have all that I need, and I have dreams. I am showing more empathy to myself- all the empathy I always saved for everyone else- but never seemed to have enough for me. I wish I had known- that’s the win. I am just grateful I know it now.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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