The Pursuit of Self Care

Write my story, that is what this prompt says on my blog. It is telling me to write my story and well, that is what I do every time I write BUT I feel like I do not always honor ME. I do not always fully present myself for JUST myself because I often think of myself in terms of who I am for others. However, that has been what I have known for so long and it has become something that I do. I am a good woman, a good mom, a good cook, a good listener, a good caretaker, a good *insert adjective* and that is what makes me…loved. Sigh. I think my complex to be loved directly stems from wanting to be appreciated for doing what I thought was acceptable for my mother. As ya’ll know, that shit does not work because she is who she is and I am who I am and at this point, I am NOT going to change or adapt for her. But as much as I have combatted being special or likable for her, I have definitely been far too overcompensating in ways of romance. I have been my version of a good ass woman, but see good in this sense means self-sacrificing, not always speaking up, shrinking, hiding, talking when I do not want to, doing things when I did not feel like and neglecting what I want to do or have to do to fit who I thought my love wanted me to be OR what I thought being lovable meant.

It is different for me to be with someone who is consistent in word, and in deeds AND doesn’t just want to bask in my light. It actually really helps me to focus on myself and to prioritize myself. My view on relationships has changed so much because I am way more focused on my truth AND I am not freaked out that something will change if I speak up or if I take some space for any reason that I need space. I believe for me that an active part of self care is taking the time to think, taking the time to breathe, and taking the space to be me and work on being the best version of myself for me. I have seen and been a part of shit where the love was conditional and things that meant that I would love you only if you did this…or I will do THIS for you if you did THIS for me… and that is problematic and not worthy of a chance because it does not honor me nor is it in alignment with my definition of self care. Self care is FOR ME and it is to maintain my personal integrity, draw out my personal happiness and stay true to my path. The people who love ME will love and understand all I need to do for ME without question and they will continue to love me as I am.

I know many people who do not tell their truth for fear of losing the comfort that they have. I have been someone who has not spoken up to keep the comfort that I have. I have sold out on myself by not saying my truth and IGNORING my gut instincts to stay in a situation that was seemingly comfortable and worked well for me. But what I can tell you guys is that my lessons in seeing the bigger picture come when I have had room to think, stretch and breathe on my own. I am my best and brightest self when I have room to sit with myself and analyze what is best for me. I can also see many versions of the truth and many different ways for a scenario to go AND I have to learn when to speak up and say wait…there is something off here. It is not always easy because sometimes the other person is not ready to hear what I already see and I don’t think it is my job to help someone arrive at a reality I have for myself. I think what will serve ME is to speak up when I have made the agreement with myself and realize what is unfolding. I think it is important for me to take a break when I need it, or take a step back once I discover I need it and make room for myself to take care of myself.

No one can give me what I need if I do not ask for it. My requests can never be met if I do not make any. I cannot have my best life, if I do not take steps to honoring myself and caring for myself. My struggle with self care is sometimes not speaking up and asking for support. I do not have to figure it all out on my own. In fact, I absolutely cannot figure out anything on my own without the support of others once in a while. Self care is leaning on your village, leaning on your team and using my voice to express my needs. It is so hard sometimes to do that but I know that it is what will fulfill myself and feel the reciprocity that I really and truly need. The people who love me let me know I can lean on them and ask for support. It really IS a beautiful thing and I feel less alone and like my needs matter. That is also a large part of self care. I gotta love myself enough to allow myself to be loved. Wow. People will love me as I am, without me having to do anything for that love. Man…it is revolutionary but it should not have to be.

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