The Universe has been so nicely presenting at my feet opportunity after opportunity to manifest my whispered word for 2012: self-care. (I also toyed with "self-love" and "ease," but this one resonates the most.)
Self-care. Two years ago I didn't know it. As in, didn't know it existed. Had never heard of it. Wouldn't have known what it meant if it was pressed right into my face. (Which, I'm sure, it was. Multiple times.)
And here I am in 2012, thinking it necessary to really improve upon my own self-care and self-love, and little do I know that the Universe means business. You know that saying, "Be careful what you wish for?" I'm learning that meaning, now. Only I'm still truly dedicated to what I've wished for and am learning its medicine and taking its lessons in stride, with love.
I am learning to love myself.
A year and a half ago I turned down two very prestigious offers to attend graduate school and get my Master's degree in Social Work. Healing the world had been my vision since I was a little girl, didn't you know. I wanted to take care of people and fix things and what I hadn't realized all along was -- what I really wanted was to heal myself. And somewhere in there I got lost and thought that the way to mend and fill this hole was to offer myself to others, to the point of spending thousands of dollars and dedicating my entire life to a profession that could, ideally, do this. A year and a half ago I had the sudden burst of clarity (or perhaps it was really a long build-up waiting to happen) to stop. To sit. To put myself first.
I remember whispering out loud for the first time ever, to anyone, to my spiritual mentor, "Um, I know this sounds bad, and really mean, but . . . . I don't want to help people anymore."
And it was like this ginormous weight was lifted off my shoulders and suddenly my whole world opened up and I could breathe and I began on this path of self-care and acceptance and realized along the way that this, this was how I was going to start healing and changing the world. Within myself.
Every day is a new lesson and practice in this art of self-love. My decision today? To call out of work. Stay home. Sleep in a tiny bit, move slowly, nurse this persistent cold, spend time with my sister before she drives back to DC, give myself space. Catch up on some laundry and writing and then, breathe. And acknowledge the bits of guilt and fear that pop up and then -- focus on what I'm doing for myself and appreciate my own courage and commitment.
For I am committed to saving my own life.