I fought a war against co-dependency, and I won. I fought a battle against poverty, and I won. I went to combat against mental health instability, and I won. I spent years of my life in boot camp, training in all the right moves to conquer the evil that gets deep under out skin, and I spend my life as a drill instructor, teaching, training, drilling people to understand their worth. I beg, I plead, I empathize and I spend my days praying that others will see how beautiful they are, how much more they deserve. I want people to see themselves the way God see’s them. I want them to understand His love the way that they love their own children. I want them to all see how He looks down upon us, His children, the way we look down on our own children. I want them to know that unconditional love. I want every woman to know that she is the kings daughter! That SHE is a princess, and deserves to be treated like one. I spend my days trying to convince overwhelmed and under appreciated moms and sisters that THEY are princesses…daughters to the king…who else do they need to impress? Meanwhile…it has become very clear to me that I never learned how to treat myself like a princess, like the daughter that I am, washed in his blood and deserving of the throne, through His grace and forgiveness. I want others to understand that this is His gift to us. How is it that I can devote my life to helping other women break free from their chains, while I am still tied to this condemnation of self. When do I learn that I too, deserve those very things that I am pleading with others to receive for themselves? Maybe I already know, but I sure do struggle with implementing a plan. Today, I made a new category, because yesterday I made a new rule. I will be spending time pampering ME. What a strange concept…spend money to get my hair done, I can hardly imagine that being ok for me. Other folks do it all the time, but I, myself, do not splurge like that. Eight dollars to go swimming in some healing mineral waters…are you kidding me, that seems like highway robbery. Even if it is one of my favorite pastimes, we can’t afford for me to blow 8 dollars on a frivolous day of soaking and swimming! What a waste of money… this is a typical conversation in my head, when I want to do something for me. Why is it that I think that I am not worth the 8 dollars to spend an afternoon in some healing water, or even fifty, for a haircut? Why have I abandoned my stretching mat and candlelit meditations? Why do I quietly wish someone else would notice I am a good, hardworking, albeit tired, person, and deserving of a break? Why should they recognize that if I don’t? I feel as though I recognize the tired part all of the time, sleeping doesn’t make it better. I have been told three times, by three different people, that I deserve a break, a healing break. Not the kind of rest you get when your sick, but a healing and rejuvenating vacation, was what one lady said. I have never done that, and cannot imagine what it must feel like? I have spent 30 years taking care of other people, putting everyone before myself. I have learned how to weed out the ones worth putting before me, and the ones who are not, and so I claim to have broken the co-dependent cycle. I realize, this week, that I only let go of part of that co-dependency baggage, and the rest I am carrying like a weight I refuse to let go of. I am spiritually healthier than I have ever been, mentally, as well. I feel balanced and in control of my “life”. I quote life because for me being in control of my life means that I have faith that God is in control, and as long as I trust Him and keep moving forward, life will be grand.
The health problems I have encountered have put this into grand perspective for me this past week, and I realized that I need to treat myself like that princess I am talking about. I need to pamper myself as though my life depends on it. I am pretty convinced this week that it does. I realized that stress takes a toll on me unlike the average person, due to my highly sensitive nature. I process stress like a poison. It shuts me down. Every muscle in my body aches, every day. I have digestive issues, oral health issues, and now female health issues. I don’t have the option of setting my pain aside anymore, as I literally feel like I am rotting from the inside out! My body seems to be attacking me! I have always told women who run themselves too hard, that if they don’t rest, God will force it on them. I don’t really believe that He brings the darkness of sickness to his children, but I believe He can get you through it. It’s just my way of saying, if you don’t rest, you will be forced to. Well, here I am staring my own stubborn desire to put it aside and keep going, in the face. Makes me feel pretty hypocritical. How on earth can I stare these women in the faces and tell them to take care of themselves when I am not doing the same for me? I try to demand it, but I never actually do it.
So here I am today, I have spent the last three days in deep contemplation, about why I don’t know these things, and how to learn them. I am really thankful for the internet as a research tool. It gives me endless hours of looking for ways to put my plan into effect. I have spent years learning about home remedies and spa products, to try to figure out my health problems. They all feel great, but I never considered the health problems could be related to lack of decompression time, which is pretty ridiculous given who I am and the amount of time I spend researching things like sensitive personalities and complaining about how fast life is today. I can tell you I process stress through my stomach, but have been searching and searching for answers to my digestive issues for over thirty years. Hmmm…left the logic at home on this one, huh? Oh, I have physical symptoms as well. It’s a blood type thing, not making the digestive enzymes I need to process food. I got it figured out, but don’t feel a lot better. Gee, could stress be the problem? I made rules about stress this weekend though, and I am putting my stubborn foot down and sticking to my guns on this one! I will learn to take care of myself. I will learn to meet my own needs first (or at least second or third). First and foremost, I will be requiring some pampering! There is just no question about that. As soon as I started looking for ways to spoil myself, I was motivated. I started thinking first about a haircut, a cute one, not just a trim, which, by the way, I do myself in my own bathroom. I am going to get a hairstyle, and I am excited about that! It made me want to go through all of my old make-up, get rid of the old, yucky, and take an inventory. I decided I would dress up one day a week. I love my comfy clothes, but often wish I had a reason to put on more fancy clothes and go out. Who needs a reason? I am going to wear my heels and pretty make-up sometimes, if only for my husband and son. If only for myself. Today, I am going to splurge, spend the 8 bucks, and do some serious warm spring water soaking, and oh my, I am nearly in happy tears at the thought. I won’t lie, I cried when I told my husband I was doing it. He is such a good man. He was very supportive, at least of the ideas. We shall see when it comes time for me to put them in action. So far, so good!
I have made it my mission to get healthy, To get me healthy and meet my needs, and as I learn how to do that, I am going to share it here with you. Some of it may seem simple, and silly, but I am just an infant in this world. Realizing I do deserve a professional haircut was a huge step for me, or that I could spend eight dollars to go swimming. So, I am off for a soak in some hot springs, and let me tell you…I have no guilt whatsoever about it! Have a nice day all, and remember, God gave you blessings so you would utilize them…enjoy something nice for yourself today! It doesn’t have to be expensive, just relaxing! It doesn’t have to take a long time, 15 minutes in a hot Epsom salt bath is wonderful! Do you have a candle? Light it! Count your blessings, thank God for them, and then enjoy them!