I know it is kind of a gender thing. But it can happen to anyone. You are so set on helping others, taking care of business, making the world a better place – and all that jazz – that you have little time for yourself. I know I have been there. And many of my friends and associates have too! So how can you take self-care seriously when there is so much to do for everyone else?
One day, I was picking my kids up from school and I was cheerfully singing along with them. One of those precious moments. My youngest boy looked up at me, beaming and said “Mommy, why are you in such a great mood?” I smiled back. I told him I was happy, but not about anything in particular. “Aren’t I always like this?” He rolled his eyes and looked over at his brothers. “No.” It dawned on me that I was always running everywhere and probably not so aware of my reactions. I was tired and stressed being super-mom and super-exec and super-friend and all that. It probably didn’t help them very much.
That night, I was meditating about the episode. Could it be that my kids deserved better? A better me? A calm, relaxed, well-fed, well-excercised mom? Yeah, it’s a self-esteem issue. If you like yourself enough you are supposed to make time for yourself. But in the midst of being there for others, it doesn’t always sink in. I believe I like myself reasonably well. I also like being super-everything. So I am. When I can. And I can, because I am also super-there-for-me.
So if whoever “yourself” is has a soft, soft voice, listen to the voice of others. They deserve the best you there is. And that’s just not possible without consistent self-care. So now, I can spend time on the treadmill and at the beauty parlor, and reading and meditating. Not a lot of time, mind you, but good quality time. And, lo and behold, I do think I like my self a little more now.