caregiving · RN · Self-care

Redefining Ride or Die…

I am a self-proclaimed “ride or die” chick with the resume to prove it.  A trait that is beyond loyalty, coined for Bonnie, of Bonnie and Clyde, and her willingness to face death for her man, for her love. Now applicable to all facets of a life, friendships, family, jobs, the entire sense of your person, that resilience, that ability to dig in, speaks to your character, your integrity. It says, I am TRUE, no matter what. But what happens when your ride or die badge inhibits your ability to stay true to you? What happens if you know that riding out a situation is not in your best interest or your future and when does it come time to say, no more, I need to get off this ride and choose me?

Every situation, every person is different, but I have had more than my fair share of staying way too long in situations, in jobs, in relationships. Red flags galore, being completely unhappy and choosing to numb out versus analyze and dig in another way…dig into myself, ask the tough questions, feel the raw emotions and then decide, what is the price I am willing to pay here? Is the sacrifice worth my SELF? In these situations where I decided to stick it out, the excuses to my ego were plenty, all in the name of not being a quitter, not feeling like I failed or made a shitty decision.  

As a caregiver or someone who is in service of others, it’s difficult to look at the facts without judgement. When I decided to become a nurse, it was something that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t my original plan or dream. For most of us, life happens, the weight of personal responsibility takes hold and you find yourself holding on, staying, not quitting. So how do you balance continuing to serve, but more importantly serve yourself? You practice extreme compassion, extreme presence and the ability to say, “hell no.” By having compassion for yourself first, you are providing a safe space to allow your brain to breathe and make an informed decision, listen to the red flags and move forward. By having extreme presence, you can determine if your sacrifice is worth it AND if it is temporary or a pattern that will continue. Finally, having the SKILL to say no, is a skill that takes practice and cultivation. It doesn’t mean you are an asshole. It means you know how to set healthy limits and it can be said in the most compassionate manner. When I find myself dreading, flaking out or flat-out avoiding, it doesn’t speak to my character or integrity. It means I haven’t fully investigated if this situation serves the purpose of my soul. 

I get asked about returning to my nursing career and while it would be an easier road financially, I know I left for a reason. After that quick gut check, I know, I fulfilled my purpose for those 20 years and that’s ok I have moved on. It’s been a long road, but I can confidently say that I am still ride or die. It just has taken me awhile to learn the most important lesson of self-worth and that you must be ride or die with yourself first.  

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