"When you are compassionate with yourself, you trust in your soul, which you let guide your life. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny better than you do."--John O'Donohue
I recently made a wish on a cupcake.
[something that happens kind of frequently these days]
Or perhaps I set an intention [or hope] as I exhaled and blew out the candle, surrounded by people I adore and being held by their light, their love, their joy.
Wishes and hopes and intentions are kind of intertwined for me lately. I made a wish - just for me - while embraced by magical walls, supportive souls and all the twinkle lights.
My wish was that I am as kind & caring to myself [or more] than I am to those around me.
At first, I struggled to claim this wish. I went into my head with old stories about worthiness, guilt & being selfish. I am actually really struggling with writing about it now, because I am anxious about how it will be perceived.
Because of my own resistance to it, I know that it is powerful and that my experience needs to be shared, explored and discussed.
I have been a caregiver, in some way, shape or form, for many of my 42 years.
It's part of who I am and is so ingrained in me.
I am the oldest sibling of four. Since I was very young, I remember wanting to be a mom. It's one of my earliest memories. I am mom to two teens now - ages 16 and 13. I am protector and mama-love guardian to many others as well.
I love through touch, by paying attention & through my presence.
I love by caregiving. I am a giving pro.
In truth, the ways that I love can be exhausting. It can feel lopsided and leave me feeling resentful. Some days I wonder if there is space for my needs within the needs of all of the pieces that I am balancing. Where do I fit in?
I remember that kindness to myself can come in tiny, precise action or in larger, spacious steps.
I remember that I get to choose. I remember that I can choose to stop mid-course and change directions.
I remember that I get to ask for what I need and want at any point in time.
As I notice how and when I am resentful, tired or overwhelmed, I begin to connect the dots. I notice that during these times, my well is quite empty. That I have been filling the glasses of those around me, but not my own.
With this awareness, I begin to choose differently. To carve out time for myself [maybe 5 minutes or maybe 2 hours, depending on the day.] Knowing that it is up to me to claim this, to create space for it and to own it as my own.
By nourishing kindness for myself, I am nourishing kindness for all.
And so it is.
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