The new year likely comes with resolutions on what you want to see yourself do or achieve in 2019. This is perfect because Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be is the most recent book I finished and I don’t think I have ever read anything that spoke to me more in the first two pages than this book by Rachel Hollis. Then again, I usually read murder mysteries and thrillers so I guess that is a good thing? This book spoke to me so much that I told my husband that I needed to purchase my own copy so I could highlight and write all over it. I don’t think the library would be thrilled if I did that to their copy.
Hold on. I am going to stop right here and say that if you have not yet read this book proceed no further. Make your way to your nearest store that sells books (or Amazon) and purchase a copy. Begin reading it immediately and then, if you can’t put it down until you have read the entire thing front to back, I won’t blame you.
I could easily write twenty-seven different posts about various sentences or paragraphs from this book that really blew my mind- in a good way- when I read it, but I don’t have that kind of time. Instead, I want to write about the one passage from chapter two that is my new life mantra. Since it pops into my head daily I figured it warranted a post.
“How many times have you bailed on yourself to watch TV? How many times have you given up before you’ve even started? How many times have you made real progress, only to face a setback and then give up completely? How many times have your family and friends or coworkers watched you quit? How many times have your children watched you give up on yourself over and over and over?
This is not okay.”
Rachel. Hollis. Throwing the hard truth right into your face. Straight to the point. The answer to these questions for me is too many times to count. There have been so many times in my life that I promised myself I was going to do something only to break that promise to simply sit around and watch TV or take a nap. Neither of those things is getting me any further in life and I regretted it afterward. Okay well, maybe not the nap thing because you guys, napping is life when you have a small child.
I could not begin to tell you how many times after I gave birth to my son that I promised myself I was going to start eating better so that I could get back to my pre-baby weight. Hint: that promise never lasted longer than one meal. I constantly complained about how much I hated my body but never took action. I am sure this was beyond annoying to my husband because it was beyond annoying to myself. I was unhappy and depressed but was doing nothing about it but complaining. I am a firm believer that if you are going to complain about something but not try to change it then you do not have the right to complain. There, I said it. And you want to know what the worst part about this was? I was breaking my own rule.
“If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you’re not making promises at all. You’re talking.”
I was doing nothing but talking to myself. I was telling myself the nice things I wanted to hear. Making myself empty promises that I knew I wouldn’t keep. But why? Why was I okay with breaking so many promises to myself when I would never ever think of breaking that many promises to a family member or friend. I finally “manned” up and did what I needed to do. I stopped breaking that promise and I am so glad I did.
Each and every day this passage resonates with me. I have stopped making promises I know I am not going to keep. A friend asks me to do something and I know I really don’t want to or won’t have the time? I tell them no. Did I promise myself I am going to workout today? I am going to do it. Did I promise myself that I am going to get the house cleaned? I am going to do it. Did I promise myself to take a break and just relax during my sons’ nap time because yes, you can promise yourself to take a break? I do that too. What is not ok is to continue to break promises. No more breaking promises to me! I am the most important person in my life and if I don’t take care of me and remain honest with myself, then I cannot take care of my husband or our son.
I want to set the best example for my son and if I am continuously canceling plans with myself, what kind of example am I setting? I know he is only two but I need to break the habit before he is old enough to understand.
So if you are like me, because I am still a work in progress, you need to stop breaking promises to yourself. Whether it is for your child, your spouse, or most importantly, yourself. Do it.
When it comes down to it, start making yourself a priority. Stop being ok with breaking promises to yourself but ok with keeping them with everyone else. You would be upset with a friend who always broke promises to you, so why are you doing it to yourself? You are number one. Stop believing anything or anyone telling you otherwise. You are responsible for how happy you are, so make the promise now to stop breaking the promises that you know ultimately will make you happy. Realize that you are strong enough to see whatever promise it is that you made through to the end.
With that, I leave you with more words from Rachel Hollis: