There I was enjoying my massage until all the sudden a voice was in my head making me feel guilty for taking time for that, “You SHOULD be working (or cleaning, cooking, or anything else!), instead of being selfish and doing nothing like a massage!” Where did THAT come from?! Has that ever happened to you? You are enjoying your massage, manicure, haircut, or something, and all the sudden that overwhelming sense of GUILT kicks in? Where does that originate from anyways? Taking care of ourselves as being selfish?
As women, we are born caretakers and are encouraged to fulfill that role by putting everyone else’s needs above our own. While this may work for a while, eventually our emotions, spirits and bodies begin to break down. We generally don’t think to do something about it until we experience health problems. I want to tell you there is a better way! Ignore those voices telling you it’s selfish, or that you don’t have time, to learn how to start administering self-care. But let me start by saying you must first learn self-love. Because if you don’t love, truly love, and value yourself, you won’t make this a priority, and you’ll let those guilt feelings keep you from doing it or shaming you if you try. Caretakers need to be taken care of too!
After years of being told I was worthless or made to feel like I was worthless by people who supposedly loved me, I am now learning who I am in Christ, and learning that self-love and self-care are how He expects us to treat ourselves, the way He does! He values us, why shouldn’t we value ourselves? After all, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Shouldn’t we take care of our temples and treat them as holy? Besides that, how can we take care of everyone else if we aren’t taking care of ourselves? It’s only a matter of time before you completely break down and cannot do it anymore. Then who will take care of everyone else? Let alone, you?
Another thing I realized I had to do was forgive those who have hurt me, but I also had to forgive MYSELF as part of learning self-love. Forgiving others doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it sets US free. Free to be ourselves, free to heal, free to grow, free to love, free to be the beautiful women God created us to be. Then we can forgive ourselves, for the times we feel like we have failed – as a parent, partner, friend, sibling, daughter. You get the picture. Healing and beautiful things happen when there is love and forgiveness, of self and others.
Maybe you’ll be kinder and gentler on yourself in this next season. Maybe you’ll schedule that massage, without feeling guilty. Maybe you’ll forgive yourself for putting on the “pandemic 15 or 30”. Besides, you were just trying to survive! Spring is around the corner, and I always feel so excited at this time when things will finally begin to thaw, birds are more evident, green starts appearing, and with it brings hope. Hope for something new. Hope for a better day. Hope for love, peace, and joy. Hope for change. And time for self-love and care.
So, until next time…be real, be you!