I used to think that I was at my best – the most likable – the truest to myself – really the most alive – when I was in service to others. But you see I misunderstood what being in service really means.
I took it as my needs and desires did not matter and I lived that way most of my life.
Of course, I had people tell me that I needed to take care of myself. Well-intentioned, they really thought that those words should have meaning to me but to someone who had been a caregiver practically all my life I had no idea how to take care of me, much less put my needs (or better yet my wants) ahead of anyone else’s.
So, let’s get one thing straight, there is absolutely nothing wrong with care-giving. We are all in this world together. We depend on each other. Where would we be without a mother’s hugs, a friend to share with, a nurse to help bandage the hurt. There is no way around it, we need each other.
Care-giving is something we do when we care. The challenge here is to make yourself one of those you care about and for.
Take a moment with this. For some, this is a huge statement. For me it was.
You are the most important person in your life (Take a deep breath here), that is ahead of your children, your spouse, your parents, your friends, your pets, your coworkers, and the neighbors.
Your life, your needs, your desires, your dreams matters. This may sound foreign and may contradict everything you learned as a child. It is, none-the-less, true.
You are the only you there is. You are important!
Do something you enjoy at least once every day.
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are important.
Be selfish! It’s okay.
This is your life! You really do get to choose what to do and when to do it.
What you want and who you really are really do matter.
Yes, there will be times when you have to do things you don’t want to – there is such thing as the government, laws and jobs - but these can be the exceptions rather than the rule.
Write post it notes and place them around the house to remind you to take care of you.
Get friends to support you.
You are important! Your life matters!
And if you need some help with establishing some Radical Self-Care, contact me.