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Know your truth series – pressure. Documenting my journey to better mental health

Pressure can be a good thing. It can push you further than you thought possible, helping you to achieve the potential you didn’t realize you had.
It’s the pressure from others’ actions you put on yourself that can be unhealthy. A fact of life: the only actions you have control over are your own. When I attempt to help someone, gifting them compassion and kindness, I have a tendency to subconsciously claim ownership in their next step. I create a personal investment in their success or their failure. This can affect my mood, my sleep, my work life and my home life.
It’s not always the big acts of physical labor or financial assistance. My actions could be something as simple as a prayer, words of encouragement or a wish for luck. Afterwards, I find myself following their journey as if it were my own. I would even go as far as admitting that not knowing how it ends devastates me too.
In order for who I am to work for me, I have to let go of the the way I think. The unhealthy connection I make to others’ journeys. I don’t mean not helping or not caring, but simply reminding myself that it’s not my journey, it’s theirs. Look at myself as a tool in their arsenal for venting, talking, listening, or just being. Their results, their actions, that’s what they own.
I need to practice giving unconditionally. I never realized that when I would give I was subconsciously looking to receive. I was seeking results in their success; satisfaction from their journey. The real way to give is to do it with the satisfaction that you simply offered a piece of you for a moment or moments of time. That is all, nothing more. It doesn’t mean you don’t care what happens to those around you. It just means that it’s their journey, their fight. My actions are my responsibility. My successes are my achievements. My failures are my lessons. To share my story is a gift.
I plan to continue being there for my friends, my family, strangers, and acquaintances, but I am also going to reflect on my interactions and make an assertive effort to take a step back. Let the chips fall where they may, and take less ownership in their results. Our legacy is about the impact we have in this world, not fixing everyone in it.

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