My partner, love of my life, web designer and editor, Bill Weil, recently questioned a statement from my last article on commitment. If you have not read it, I invite you to. I would love to hear your response to the idea that you matter more than anything in your life.” You are the only one in your life who matters” does sound selfish, egocentric, maybe even narcissistic. Bill listed his children, his president, his siblings as examples of people who “matter” as much as he does. Where am I on that list I wondered”!? Lucky for me, and for Bill! his daily actions prove to me that I am on the top of that list. But it took years of working on our relationship for me to feel this way.
You do not need to know the gruesome details of my early years, but I have spent the past 30 years recovering from a less-than-ideal childhood. I look forward to spending the rest of my life continuing my own transformation and inspiring others to live their best lives.
The first lesson I had to learn on my path to emotional, physical and spiritual well-being was that I matter. I was not given that message as a child. From years of working deeply with my clients I know I am not alone in this.
My own children, and my two ex-husbands, will tell you that I went overboard on the idea of “me first.” No doubt. But now I can tell you that I feel very secure in the fact that I matter more than anyone in my life. It is from this knowing that I can take such good care of the people in my life. My clients, my children and my sweetheart all reap the benefits of my having found a balance in this most challenging endeavor.
All day, every day, I take care of people, and I do so happily. It is my job to encourage, inspire and hold my clients accountable. I also feed them, give them water, stretch them, work on them, give them vitamins and have Healing Touch sessions with them. I celebrate their wins and help them to see the opportunity in their failures. One hour I will hold someone while they cry, and the next hour I will scream obscenities at someone for whom a soft touch does not work. I listen, I lift, I lean in and am leaned on.
How could I do any of these tasks well unless I first took care of myself? My day starts with my own self-care. Every day. This is what I teach, and this is what I practice. My self-care might look different than what I encourage others to do, but everyone has different needs, are at different levels and are going for different results.
The point is to look and see what it is that you need to feel well and be well. Then give yourself that gift. You cannot be there for others unless you know how to be there for yourself. It is impossible to give generously, and from your heart, unless you are filled up. Giving from a place of resentment, or “in order to” or as a way of proving to the world that you are a “good” person is not real giving. If you are busy trying to prove you are worthy, you might look to see if you have true self-worth.
Put your own oxygen mask on first, take a very deep breath, fill yourself up so that you can then give and give and give with joy. You are the only one who can give the particular gift you have to give.