Cherishing Yourself. Just Because.

I have this friend who has recently become a single mom. Whenever we talk, one of the things I encourage her to do is to take care of herself.  I kinda lecture and nag her about it, to be honest. To be clear, I don't feel she should take care of herself because she's a mom and her kids need her. She is, and they do. But that's not my main reason. From my view point, I want her to take care of herself because I love her, and in my eyes she is so worthy of being cherished, and that includes cherishing herself.  I firmly believe we are all inherently worthy, and therefore we should all take care of ourselves. And yet...

And yet, I struggle to take care of myself. I put myself last. I say "no" when I would rather say "yes". I say "yes" when I am thinking "no". I stay up late when I should be going to bed. I drink coffee instead of water. A lot. Really a lot. You have no idea. It's like a drinking problem, but with coffee. But I digress...the point is, sometimes I flat out suck at taking care of myself. And yet...

     And yet, sometimes I do an awesome job. I go to bed early. I get up early, and workout. My "yes" is a true "yes", as is my "no". I limit myself to only a couple cups of coffee, and I drink lots of water. I pack an apple in my lunch and I actually eat it. I stay off of Facebook and curate my Instagram feed to only things that feel beautiful and inspiring. Still social media, but not as anxiety-producing.  I start thinking I've got this self-care thing down. And then...

     And then I slip. I lean too far in one direction, and start to tip over.  In my last blog past, I wrote about how I feel that the popular idea of balance is overrated.  Balance is unforgiving. Instead, I like the idea of leaning. Lean into your family for a season. The next season, maybe your friends will need you, or you will need them, so you lean that way.  It's much more flexible. And generally that works really well for me. But every now and then, I go too far. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person, and so I'm either doing a fantastic job of taking care of myself, or I'm blowing it big time.  You ever have that problem? Yes? Great, it's not just me! Or maybe...

     Or maybe you answered no. Perhaps you have a different problem. Maybe you skip self-care on a regular basis. You never lean in that direction at all. Maybe you hear all this preaching about the importance of taking care of yourself, and you really struggle to do it, and now you feel guilty for not doing it and you wish we would all shut up about it so you could continue neglecting yourself in peace.  I understand, honey. I do. I understand because of all those times I am really bad at it. I know the convincing stories I tell myself. I have reasons that feel completely legitimate and impossible to overcome. But then there are all the times I realize those reasons are just excuses, and I overcome them. I discover I can find time to take care of myself, and the world won't stop. Right before I fall off the wagon again.  It's a process I need to allow myself to go through. And...

     And you do too. Allow yourself to go through the process. Allow yourself to mess up, drop the ball, and fall off the wagon. But keep trying. Please. Get back at it. Put the phone down and go to bed. Because I know that you, too, are worthy of being cherished. Not because you are a mom, or because of any other role you play. Simply because you are you, and that is reason enough.