Loyalty is an amazing quality to have. By definition, it is a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Loyalty is something you must have in an array of relationships in your life. The flip side of loyalty is betrayal. Most of us have in fact, felt betrayed. It could have come from any relationship, whether it be a significant other, family member or friend. It can come from anywhere. Someone or something you have put your trust in. There are all different types and sizes of betrayal. Not keeping a promise or a secret that was supposed to be kept. Not feeling protected. Cheating, stealing, lying…the list could go on. At some point, all of us have felt betrayed or have somehow, whether big or small, betrayed someone else. Intentional or not. We’ve probably even betrayed ourselves. I hope we all do our best to make sure no one feels betrayed by us. If you have ever been betrayed you know too well that is one of the worst feelings. I know sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to not betray someone. Sometimes we make the choice to betray ourselves. We get caught up in trying to make sure that we keep our promises and meet our responsibilities. We get consumed with trying to be everything to everyone. Sometimes our hearts are so big, our love runs so deep, we have so much compassion and respect for others (which is a good thing!) that we have nothing left for ourselves. I know I’m one of those people. I’ve always cared about everyone and their feelings and what they think of me. Apparently sometimes too much. I’ve turned myself inside out for other people. Gone out of my way for others. Refusing to give up. I will never forget standing in the kitchen at my parents house several years ago talking to my dad. I was upset because someone had hurt me. But true to my nature I was defending them still with tears running down my face. My dad looked at me and said “you are so loyal, you always have been. But you are loyal to a fault.” At that moment, I didn’t really understand what that meant. How could being loyal not be a good thing? As I’ve grown older I understand what he meant. Loyalty is such a wonderful trait or quality to have. We need loyalty. It’s important to know someone has your back and for you to have theirs. But you have to learn when to respectfully “bow out” when who or what you are being loyal to is toxic and causing you harm. We all come to a point in our lives where we have to look in the mirror and see if we are being loyal to the person looking back at us. YOU. If we aren’t, we are betraying ourselves. We need to be loyal to our own hearts. We have to stop trying to please everyone else and leaving nothing for yourself. Take time to examine your wants and needs. The things that make your heart happy. Be loyal to your own heart. Don’t give up on yourself. Once you know what it is that makes you tick, what it is that matters to your heart, it becomes clearer what you need to do to be loyal to yourself. Be courageous and bold enough to go for what makes you true to yourself. When you feel confident that you have that accomplished and know you are going to stand your ground and fight for your own heart, the rest will come easy. You have to be loyal to your own heart in order to be loyal to those you love and care about. When you stay loyal to yourself, you become confident and feel centered. When you feel that way, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Consider that a super power! You give yourself the best gift of being able to reach your dreams and be the kind of person anyone would be proud to have in their life. By being loyal to your own heart, you also give those you care about the best gift. That gift is definitely worth sharing. And maybe, just maybe, if we do it right we will inspire others to do the same.