Who are you to put yourself first? What about those people who depend on you? If you are out at the spa all day and eating bon-bons who will take care of us? That’s just selfish.
These voices. Voices from peers, family, media; voices in our own heads? These messages somehow have us brainwashed into believing that self-care is self-ish! People don’t like it when your change affects them, causing them to have to change. Therefore there is resistence. So please stay in your pleaser mode and keep taking care of the world. Don’t change. It’s not convenient for us. Cheryl Richardson is a huge advocate in self care and in one of her books she titled a chapter “Let Me Disappoint You.” Sometimes I think of this and laugh, because that goes against everything we’ve been trained to do! And who says self-care means eating bon-bons?
So when exactly is the right time to take something back for yourself? You can start now with one thing. Think of that Pie of Life where each piece is a different segment of your life; health, relationships, fitness, financial, creativity, etc. What is ONE thing you would like to do? Girls night out? Yoga class? Changing your diet? You don’t have to change all the pieces in your pie at once. Change one small piece. It won’t cause a disturbance in the force like you think it might. Or it might be a small disturbance. It might raise an eyebrow with the judging public. That is all.
Yesterday I was sharing the concept of The Year of Me with a new friend. She said “I’d just like to play devil’s advocate.” Okay. “Not everyone has a supportive husband like you.” Okay. I understand that. I also know that people treat us the way we teach them to treat us. When I was doing everything, people expected me to do that. As my kids grow I teach them to make their own breakfast and pack their own lunch. Do they like that? Not at first, but eventually it is not a point anymore, they just do it. My job as a parent is to raise kids that can go out in the world and take care of themselves. If I do everything for them, I’m doing them a disservice.
When I started my photography business my husband and kids were used to me being available for them all the time. By diverting my attention they were forced to step up a little. That’s okay. It’s not only good for them to step up, it’s good for them to see you for more than their cook and maid.
Yes, my husband is supportive, but he would also love to have that ’50s housewife if I would be that. People will take what you give them.
Maybe you are still a doubter. Maybe you are not ready to rock the boat, even a little. That’s okay. Because you will know when you are ready. You will look at yourself and your life and realize that you need to make changes. You are tired of being unhappy, unhealthy, overweight, burned out, depressed, overcooked. When you reach that point there is nowhere to look but in the mirror. It can be an uncomfortable gaze looking back at you, but the truth is, no one is going to change your life for you.
“If you want to improve your life, you need to start with yourself.”
When you are ready, take one small step and repeat the mantra, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”
I can’t help but add this in. Ask yourself, “who is the better person to be around?” The crabby, burned out and exhausted person or the energized and happy person?
Input = Output baby.