receiving, relationship, self-care, self-love, time

Save some you for you.

Pie

I hate this stupid meme and I’ll tell you why.

Somewhere along the line, we learned that putting ourselves first was bad. Somewhere along the line, we began believing that the needs and wants of others without regard of our own. Somewhere along the line, we gave and we gave and we gave, until one day, we realized, we had nothing left for ourselves.

Moms get the messages perhaps more pervasively. Take the dumb meme above for example. I hate it. Here’s what its saying:

–          A good mother sacrifices her own desires for the desires of others.

–          A good mother willingly misses out on sweetness and pleasure, because she’s a good mother.

–          A good mother will lie to deny her own longings.

–          A good mother matters less than her family matters.

All a bunch of hooey. But it’s not just moms that get this message. We women have been hearing it our whole lives. The mark of a good woman is sacrifice and selflessness. Maybe men get the message, too. I don’t know, as a woman I can only really speak in the context of what I and so many of the women I know and love have shared with me.

I’ve worked with women who cannot even answer the question “what do you want?” because it’s been so long since they’ve considered themselves and their desires. (At least when we FIRST start our work together.)

For the last couple of months, I’ve been sharing with you what I believe to be the biggest, deadliest blocks to our ultimate expression, our joyous radiance.  We’ve discussed a bunch of them, like negative self-talk, shame, blame and old stories.

The final and seventh in this series is what I’m talking about now. Giving it all away.

We are spread too thin. We say yes to things that scream no inside. We obligate ourselves to the point of emptiness. It’s no wonder you don’t have energy to create the life of your dreams. You have saved nothing for yourself. Your resources and reserve are depleted.

It’s time to become self-centered.

Many of you have heard me say “You say self-centered like it’s a bad thing. Well, who else am I supposed to be centered in?”

I’m not saying that a certain amount of sacrifice, generosity and commitment are required by us in our work, our relationships, our families. But what I am saying is the amount and degree to which we extend ourselves is often self-destructive.

When there is no time and energy left in us to tend to our own dreams and desires, we burn out. We become zombies. Walking among the living, but completely disconnected from our own life-force. Like a sack of motion and duty.

Brene Brown in her beautiful book “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” says “Most of us have shame triggers around being perceived as self-indulgent or self-focused. We don’t want our authenticity to be perceived as selfish or narcissistic.”

So we give away all the pieces of pie, metaphorically, and claim we don’t really like pie anyway.

Save some pie for yourself. Count yourself in the slicing and dividing.

Save some YOU for YOU.

And trust me when I say this: When you save some you for you, everyone wins. You’ll find yourself a more present, patient and engaged lover, wife, mother, boss, employee… whatever it is you do in the world, you’ll do it better.

How do you start? How do you go from being spread too thin and others-focused to centered, grounded and a self-care pro?

Like any other change: one choice at a time. It feels uncomfortable at first, I’m not gonna lie. I have coaching clients who have to struggle with some guilt and discomfort just to attend their coaching sessions, as it takes them away from where they think they should be focused, and seems so self-indulgent.

It’s like a muscle. There will be some soreness at first, but eventually it gets stronger.

What choice can you make today? How will you slice your pie?

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