After all I’ve done for you…
Have you ever had that thought? Most women I know have. We are trained by culture, church and family to give, give, give and not take care of ourselves in equal measure. It seems ludicrous to bring up the topic of self-care at the beginning of December—a time when our to-do lists have grown exponentially—or maybe this is the perfect time.
Over-giving, over-doing, over-helping, over-planning, and over-achieving of any kind usually ends up in exhaustion and resentment. Makes you wonder why we’re raised to behave this way, and then why we internalize it, and expect ourselves to live up to it, doesn’t it?
Sisters, and all over-givers—we’ve been snookered! Most of us know this already, yet, we have self-care amnesia, and need to be reminded repeatedly that we cannot pour from an empty cup (case in point: didn't I just write about self-care three weeks ago?!). I am working on a Certificate of Spiritual Direction and met with my supervisor via Zoom this morning. It almost took my breath away when she shared, “not to care for ourselves is irresponsible.” Seven words snapped me back from my self-care amnesia.
My over-responsibility toward others makes me irresponsible toward myself. Ouch. Then she said, “if you lived out of love and patience for yourself, rather than out of fear right now, what would you do after our conversation today?” Hmmm. I still have a bad headache from a migraine on Tuesday, so I told her I would ice my neck, and then go on a leisurely walk for fresh air (ice is on my neck as I write—fresh air to follow!).
It’s a great question as the holiday season begins. What would you do differently this month if you were to live out of loving, patient self-care? What giving, planning, baking,and sharing brings you abundant life? Of what can you let go? It’s a question to ponder on my upcoming walk. Energized and freed from the thought, after all I’ve done...makes a lovely self-gift to begin 2018.