In Love, FINALLY!... With Yourself
One of the most difficult challenges for me was managing my own life. Why was it that I could navigate everyone else’s life with such ease? Because I put their lives first, that’s why. I made theirs my priority. Skip eating because I have a lesson-plan to create for my grandson… no problem. Drive far-far away to support a girlfriend whose guy just dumped her (again) even though I have tax receipts to organize… okay! Create scriptures to stuff in plastic Easter eggs for invitees who haven’t bothered to RSVP but sounded like they were coming… it’s better to have than not to have! And when it’s all said and done I’m left exhausted, my diet is way off and… yep! I think I am definitely coming down with something.
Hello! This isn’t just a woman thing either. Guys, you have your own version of this, too. While many of us are “pleasers” you’re “fixers” and thank God for that. We all have our natural roles to play that can be quite helpful and it’s what attracts us to one another. However. I’ve learned over the years - too much of a good thing, ain't a good thing. We must take care of ourselves in order to maintain joy, be less stressed and resentful. Let’s face it. After expending all that energy for others (some of which was not even asked for BTW) we can get a little put out if our efforts aren't met with that ticker-tape parade we think we’re due.
Here’s a novel idea. Love yourself first. No, not in a selfish or narcissistic way. Giving to and helping others is a wonderful thing. But, it’s a much better gift to give when we take care of our lives, our health, legal matters, or whatever else it is on our plate, first.
I have recently segmented my life in ways that I can do just that. My mornings include things that make me feel excited about life and that feed my “creative/spiritual” self, i.e. artwork for my two businesses, my beauty and health regimen, cooking for the day and singing (loudly and off-key) to praise and worship music. Mid-day I work. Early afternoon, I co-raise my grandson . And at night I piddle around the house while listening to incredible music (also really loudly - Baroque, Frank Sinatra, Beck, Al Green, etc.) after which I catch up with friends via phone or Facetime. Previous years my days consisted of me springing out of bed and immediately handling everyone else’s needs as soon as my feet hit the floor, hoping that that someday when that was completed I’d finally get to address my own needs. Oddly, year after year that day never came.
My podcast guest for the week, Aparna Khanolkar is an amazing Ayurvedic mentor, and life-coach who helped me love myself first, or at least incorporate loving me along-side my obligations, so I didn’t feel so resentful, neglected and exhausted. It literally took me years to get here. But understanding that nobody was going to give me that gift but me, it kept me moving forward. I hope hearing my short 19-minute podcast with her can get you on the road, too.
Click HERE to listen
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