I often use to wonder why it was so hard for me to do the things that were actually so good for me.
To really, deeply care for myself, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially. Until I realised that, when you have a history of caring for others more than you do yourself, of self-neglect and at times self-abuse then it is a long journey home to learn deep self-care and self-love.
And, in addition, as women, we all live in cultures that tell us that taking care of others is more important than taking care of ourselves. Focusing on other people, neglecting my own needs and at times abusing myself and my body, either through alcohol, over-working, eating too much crap, isolating myself, staying in relationships that were not good for me, people pleasing, being a perfectionist and super self-critical, were all patterns that became second nature to me. AND, that has changed. Slowly. Slowly I have learnt that I have needs and that those needs are valid and important. Slowly I have learnt to nurture and nourish myself, not just in the simple pleasures of booking myself in for a massage, or taking myself for a swim in the ocean, or having a bubble bath, but also in the subtle and other important ways, like eating food that nourishes me, paying my bills and doing my tax, going to the dentist, rest, meditating for my mental and emotional wellbeing, seeing my therapist. Saying yes. Saying no.
Yes, it’s a long journey, but along the way I have met some extraordinary people and created a deeply meaningful life and perhaps most importantly I have got to know who I am and I am learning to treat myself as my own best friend. I am not sure there is any greater gift than self-acceptance and self-love. And from that place, I have so much more to genuinely give.
With great warmth