Friday, February 8, 2013

Treat yourself like you would treat a friend

This week I had one of those days. We've all had them - a day you're pulled in a thousand directions but never quite reach any of them. A day when you feel misunderstood. A day where you feel leaned upon a little too heavily, like every request is just one too many.

A point of bucket overflow. You've nothing more to give.

I realise it's my tendency to drive at full throttle, pacing through life at a rate of knots as the 'can do' person. It's a lifelong habit I'm working to undo, but in the meantime...

Sometimes it all becomes a bit too much.

And what do I do? I beat myself up for not being able to do it all. I treat the very being and body that's pushed on silently without complaining like I don't matter. I tell myself I'll tend to my needs later, they're not important. As long as everyone else's are looked after I'm ok.

But I'm not.

And this past Monday I realised that I wasn't. But rather than talking down myself and soldiering on, ignoring my internal whimpering, I did what I've set out to do this year.

I treated myself like a friend. Not a slave worker, but as someone who needed to be respected and nurtured. Believe me, this is a big shift.

I asked myself, what would I do for P if he rang me all messed up and worn down? Would I tell him to pull himself together and get back to work, and make sure he kept slogging til the wee hours of the morning because hey, sleep is for wimps. Would I tell him his health doesn't matter and dining on something fast and furiously unnourishing is exactly what he should do. Would I tell him his own personal desires come second to those of others, that his dreams are just that: dreams?

If I did I'd be dropped as a friend like a flash of lightening.

So I decided I'd treat myself the way I would treat any my friends. I ran myself a bath, drank tea, watched something on TV that made me laugh until I cried. I chatted long-distance on Skype and smiled stupidly at pictures of Tuna the wonder dog. I went to bed early.

By the time Tuesday morning dawned I was a new woman, and a night of nurturing had given me something more than the time out I so desperately needed: it gave me perspective. So my work wasn't completed; in time it would get done. Or not. There's always more work. But reality is if I'm not at my best, I can't do my best.

So dear people, take my lesson to heart. Please be as kind to yourself as you would be to your nearest and dearest. Treat yourself like you are your own best friend. It will make such a difference not only to you, but those people around you who can only but benefit from your renewed zest.

// KINDling list: It's a great idea to create a list of the things that perk you up when you're batteries are getting a bit low. Download and write your top 5 kindlings onto this card, cut it out and put it in your purse for when you might need a gentle reminder.

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