Trauma from childhood, coupled with my own genetic makeup, made me an easy target for getting on a benzo in my thirties. I was full of fear and self-loathing. My self-esteem was practically non-existent. I sure didn’t love myself!

Oh, I’m still the same person I was back then — I’m still a trauma survivor. I’ve still got the MTHFR gene mutation, and who knows what else that possible predisposes me to anxiety and depression. Even though I am still “me,” I’m not the same in that I now love myself! I don’t have the anxiety and depression that used to torment me in my twenties and thirties. After living through benzo withdrawal. I learned some powerful lessons about living fully and deeply. I learned how to thrive!

The first step to thriving is to love yourself. That means letting go of past trauma and hurts, forgiving, and moving on. It also means taking exquisite care of yourself. You have to DECIDE to love yourself and you have to make a million little decisions about self-care every day. “Do I eat this?” “Do I rest now that I am tired?” “Do I give energy to this thought, or ignore it?” “Do I post that comment on Facebook that will stir up drama I’ll have to deal with?” There are so many things that we have to be conscious of!

One of the things I’m becoming conscious of on this trip, The Decision Tour, is how hard I push myself. When I have a goal, I go for it, without regard to my health or overall well-being. I’m an overachiever, you could say. This morning I had to decide which route I take to our family farm in Georgia. (I need to be there by April 8th at the very latest as I have a big obligation on the 9th.) My old instinct is to drive a great distance today so that I can get closer to the farm, faster. But, I am tired. Driving so many hours in two days has triggered my lingering low-level benzo withdrawal symptoms to flare up a bit. I’ve got tingles, dizziness, and a sense of movement. My tinnitus, which is always constant, has grown louder and higher pitched. My body is letting me know that I need to take care of it. And so, I will. I made the decision to drive to Sedona, two hours away, and stay at the home of a client (who prefers anonymity).

I had to ask myself this morning, “What is the most loving thing to do?” When I use that question as my guide, my decisions are often much different than the ones I’d make purely based on my ego. My ego says, “Push faster and harder and get things done!” My heart and soul, the loving part of me say, “Rest. Relax. Take in the beauty around you. Stop. Slow down. Breathe. Enjoy this present moment!”

Sedona it is, then! I’ll see if I can book a massage or some type of body work today. I’ll drive to visit a vortex; Sedona’s famous healing spots! I’ll soak up the sun. Tonight, I’ll drive out beyond the city limits to gaze at the stars and give thanks for my life, my time here on the planet. What will you do today that is the most loving response for yourself? How will you take the very best care of your body, your mind, and your spirit? It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to say “No!” to doing things that pull you away from your peace. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to find quiet time to practice gratitude. (No matter how sick you are in benzo withdrawal, there are always things you can find to be grateful for.)

If anyone is the Sedona area, I’d love to connect with you, if I can. From Sedona, I’ll be driving highway 40 to Georgia. If you are close to my route, I’d love to meet up with you!

Think good thoughts, make good (loving) decisions!