Imagine you were planning a special day or evening for one of your favorite ladies –daughter, sister, aunt, best friend, mother, cousin, grandmother. Odds are, you see this special woman from outside of her own perspective. You see her when she’s tired but says she isn’t. You see her when she doesn’t know exactly where she needs to be, but she knows she’s probably late. You see her grabbing take-out, dropping off groceries, and squeezing in that last-minute appointment that HAS to happen today.
You see that she is in desperate need of SOME kind of break or relief or time out that she doesn’t think she’s allowed to take, or she believes that the world will literally come crashing down if she asks for help or grace. You see what she needs, and if and when given the chance, you’d suggest, coax, encourage, or treat her to exactly that.
So for today, imagine that you are in the supportive, loving, feminine role of your choice; looking IN at yourself. As you look at yourself from the outside, what do you see? Do you see a woman who gives and loves, day in and day out? Do you see a woman doing her best with work and driving and laundry and paying bills and school and caregiving and healing and grieving and... the list goes on.
Do you see a woman who needs something? What does she need? Not want, but need. Not a quick-fix Band-Aid, feel-good-for-20-minutes, or one-night solution. Really look and see her, what does she need?
Does she need to be heard or seen and accepted exactly as she is? Does she desperately long to be acknowledged for the tough and tiring work she does in unseen places? Is she tired to the core of her spirit? Does she crave the courage to liberate herself from something that’s been keeping her caged? Does she long to re-introduce her true self to a world that doesn’t understand her anymore?
Maybe her needs are simple; like fresh air on her face, a haircut, a cup of coffee and a laugh, or a nap. Or maybe her needs are messy and overwhelming and wild; solutions she can feel, but can’t yet touch or see.
Stepping back into yourself, ask: “What would it take, to allow yourself to care for yourself, just as you’d care for a woman you deeply love?”
Just for today, allow yourself the gift of what you need, even just one little morsel of it. The gift of quiet, acknowledgment of what isn’t working, gratitude, joy, laughter, change, or peace. When we think of ourselves as kindly as we think of those we love, we quickly realize that self-care isn’t selfish at all.