Friday, June 01, 2012

Self-Care, Dammit!

I know I bark about loving yourself and taking care of yourself.  Yet, I'm personally making it my mission to get a new approach trending.  The following showed up on my Facebook wall this week:

BEAUTIFUL!  Just so stinkin' beautiful.

I still struggle with taking care of my own person.  My religious upbringing told me I was to "take up my cross" daily and sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.  Amazing how that was drilled into me much more than the references to laughter, joy, rejoicing, parties, more parties, drinking, dancing, singing and hours and hours of sex (all in the Bible, too!). 

I am a giver.  I love to help the hearts of those who are hurting.  I love to console and encourage.  I love, love, love, LOVE to watch someone be lifted up and felt acknowledged and strengthen, because I know what that feels like.

I also take on the pain of others.  I hurt when they hurt.  I want to magically fix them.  I spend sleepless hours wishing I had a magic wand.  That is not healthy.  I cannot continue to be a great wife, mother, friend and giver in the world if I allow all of that to suck the giving right out of me.  So, I must exercise self-care.

Yet as my friend, Kathy, showed us: sometimes you have to FIGHT for that.  Sometimes you have to overcome the crazy with a little crazy.  Sometimes you have to know what you really want and need to not give a flying flip what anyone else thinks.  Give it to yourself first, so you can eventually give back. 

I am a 39-year-old mother of five who hoola hoops.  A lot.  On purpose. 

Self-Care Dammit.

Sometimes I dance.

Self-Care Dammit.

Sometimes I make things.  Weird things.  Things that may or may not ever find a purpose on the planet.  But I need to do that and I want to do that.  I am not doing a million other things when that is happening.

Self-Care Dammit.

Don't you dare worry about what someone else thinks more than what you think about yourself.  You find a way to do something for yourself.  Take a break.  Feed your body with food or sleep or play or exercise or conversation or sitting on your ever-lovin' butt.  And do it.  In the rain or the snow or the heat or the park or the church parking lot. 

It's not important.  It's vital.

Self-Care Dammit.


Unknown said...

In the church parking lot, yeah baby!

Diana said...

We're preaching the same song these days, my friend. The very same one.

Self care is vital for our sanity, for pulling out of dark places, and for avoiding and managing nasty stuff like PTSD, which sadly, very few of us trauma parents actually escape...and if I'd know sooner the real reasons WHY I needed to do it and MAKE it happen, I very likely could have lessened the PTSD blow and not taken others to my dark places with me.

Let's also turn that "take up your cross and sacrifice" to "Self care is not sinful!" The bible also says God created Adam in His image. All of us are created in that same image. If you've ever held a newborn baby who just came straight from heaven, you know what a gift these bodies are. Really and truly, these bodies we have are God's creations..His masterpieces...and are simply on loan to us. He EXPECTS us to take care of them! :-)

Upstatemamma said...

One of the things that makes self care difficult for me is that everyone seems to think it involves going out and leaving all of my kids at home. I won't say that it never does - sure sometimes I need a little time to myself. But sometimes what I want more then anything is an hour with my typical, non-traumatized, are able to smile at me children. Sometimes I jsut want to take one or two of them out and enjoy them without drama. Sometimes I just want to sew and create and make something without having to worry about when or how dinner is getting on the table. Sometimes I want to take a nap. Those things relax me. Leaving my house to just "be away" stresses me out. Yet, typically when I do things my way I take a lot of flak. People think that means that either 1 - I don't need time to myself or 2 - that I am not taking it. I should get better about taking it - my way.

Jenni Stearns said...

I needed this like I need water today.

Foster Mom - R said...

We just took a trip as a family for self care. We got the heck out of dodge and stayed in our playful Disney bubble with no work, no Therapy, no visits and way way less drama for 10 days. A fire storm of feelings and emotion and decisions await us hen we get home tomorrow but we are rested and connected and that will make us more able to handle it! At the staffing next week when we remind them we are going away again in a few weeks and they need to adjust the visitation schedule I'll be chanting the self care mantra!