Don’t be afraid to show up for yourself

family in woods three kids

Don’t be afraid to show up for yourself

I heard this on a podcast and it stuck. Seriously. Why am I 32 years old and finally, just now, realizing this is one of the most valuable lessons to learn in life?

You, reading this right now, my blog. I want you to read that again.
“Don’t be afraid to show up for yourself”

but it’s my job to care for others…

So many thoughts came to my mind when I heard this and all I could think about was that I needed to talk about it. I need to talk about why this lesson is so hard to actually accept. See, I have been a feeler of all things, a lover, a giver of myself my entire life. I learned those traits from my Mom. She taught me to be kind, to be compassionate, care about others, and treat them the way you want to be treated. Since adolescents these characteristics transformed me into the person I am. I actually devoted my entire life to caring for other people, I got my masters degrees in occupational therapy, I had found my calling. Before I could finish college my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and I then juggled commuting to and from school while caring for her. After her passing she blessed me from heaven with three beautiful babies to care for.

She taught me how to care. My life has been full of caring. Caring for others. This is what gives me fulfillment, joy, and peace. It’s what I live for. It is who I am.

remembering who I am…

It wasn’t until the past year or so that I really started being challenged by outside circumstances and I realized I needed to decide if my personal goals in life were worth standing up for. I don’t really mean this in a sappy, sad or depressing way, what I am trying to talk about is that for the longest time I have been a caregiver to everyone else but myself. Can anyone else relate? This sincerely is not a pat on the back to me, it is by no means a post about a pedestal created by myself. While I have learned that my biggest attributes are helping others, it also can become tiring.

“Kayla, I don’t care what you do, but I need you to be happy”

My husband sat me down a year ago and said to me “Kayla, I don’t care what you do, but I need you to take care of yourself, I need you to be happy”. It really wasn’t that I was that unhealthy, but because I put some much emphasis on other peoples needs I stopped caring about my own, which then lead to a very large spiral staircase hard to climb back up. I had given up on my goals, my dreams, my wishes. For so long I had put so many things before my self.

To some extent, I am probably still doing this today. When I heard this quote, it resonated with me and I hope it will with you as well! I am learning. I am slowly finding my way back to my first name. Although my favorite title is Mom, I am finally learning that it is not my only title. I am more than just a mom, I am Kayla. I am standing up for her.

you have so many gifts to give…

See we are all placed here on this earth with so many gifts to give. So many lessons to teach. We have the power to change lives. You don’t need to be in a crazy medical field or a public speaker, politic, or teacher  to have the influence to change the lives around you. Sometimes our gifts get misplaced and we all need the simple reminder, this beautiful life we were given is really something we need to value, respect and show up for.

Sometimes there are circumstances in our lives that challenge us deep down in our roots. I lost my Mom in my early 20s and that shook me to my core. I honestly did not think I would ever be happy again. Somehow I found the strength to pull myself out of a deep dark hole and show up.

green dress with gray cardigan, selfie with phone

If you’re reading this and feeling that constant work/life/family balance issue that seems to trap us all, I want you to read this next part and read it carefully.

you have to stand up for your life

Your life, is YOUR life. It is okay for you to do the things that make you happy, and even more so, identify the things that do not make you happy. Maybe it’s a career you feel like you are trapped in, because your skills are limited or you don’t know what to do about your vested time or your bills. Maybe it’s a relationship you’ve been in for a long time that has transformed into something you don’t know and something that may not be the healthiest for you. It might be that you are unhappy with your weight, your current lifestyle, your choices. Well guess what, here comes the bluntness you were all hoping for, right? It is up to YOU to make your choices, it is up to YOU to make a change, it is up to YOU to show up for yourself.

stand up, show up and choose happy

We all have to show up for our own lives. No one, not one person, is going to change your path or your future. It has to be you. Sure there will be people along the way that will influence you, motivate you and help transform who will become, or remind you of who you are, but at the end of the day, the change comes from you. You have heard this all before, that the power is in your hands. Well let me tell you this sister, it really is.

deciding to take control

I recently dealt with a bout of severe post partum anxiety and depression. Literally I was scared out of my mind, and felt like there was no way up or that anything in the future looked bright. I have been there. It took every single piece of strength I had left to decide, NO, this is not how my life is going to go. It took making a decision, day after day after day that I was going to get up, stand up, and change my life for the better. That I was going to show up for my self, do the work and get myself to a place where I was happy and remember I was put here on this earth for a reason and my story is not done.

your past does not define your future

My past, your past does not have to define your future. Your future is right now. It gets to start the minute you say it does. I am the queen of reflection and always comparing to previous circumstances, but guess what, those circumstances, those choices, those experiences mean nothing any more unless they drive you and push you to a better future, whatever that may be.

its a beautiful thing to work hard

We have to show up for our lives because no one can do it for us. We have to put in the work when things are hard, because that is where growth comes in. You’ve heard the saying “nothing worth having came easy”. It could not be more true. I heard a quote this morning by one of my favorites Rachel Hollis “It is a BEAUTIFUL thing to work hard” I mean wow, is that not incredible. Be it professional growth, relationship growth or personal growth, they are all hard. It’s hard to acknowledge the truth, or the difficulties one is facing, and to really decide change needs to happen.  We have all experienced loss of some sort. Wouldn’t you rather have to endure the hard than not get the chance to try at all.

you define your future

I think about my mom all the time when things get tough. I think, man this is so hard, but I am so thankful I get to be here doing the hard stuff. Sometimes when I am doing an exercise and its really tough, I’ll think to myself, this is hard, I want to stop, but this can’t possibly be the hardest thing I have to do today. People out there, people you know are literally fighting for their lives. So who are you to say that something that you have control over is too hard to try? Who am I? I still struggle with this. It is not easy to leave bad habits and form new ones. Showing up for yourself gives you to the power to take it back. The past you had does not need to determine your future. Your circumstances do not determine your future. You are what determines your future.

today is the day you grow

Showing up for yourself is allowing yourself the right to dream, to believe that you have gifts to share. Acknowledging you deserve complete and utter happiness. You are worthy and beautiful and no one can tell you differently. Showing up means that you are in control.  Showing up for yourself means you don’t just hear you need to do the work, you actually realize, the work needs to be done. You put in the sweat, blood and tears. You decide today is your turning point. Today is the day you grow.

xo, kayla

Join the Conversation

2 thoughts on “Don’t be afraid to show up for yourself

  1. Wow. THis Is So true. I’m finally CHOOSING to be happy. there is Always more to work on. Only i can make the changes. Thanks fOr this Reminder!

    1. I am so happy this helped you. Writing this post was directed at myself and I thought, maybe it will resonate with someone else too! I am so thankful it did. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself, each season is only a season! We are all able to make our messes our message. One day at a time. You are incredible!