“What happened to you? Why are you so tense? ” The massotherapist asked me.
I go every few months for a massage, but have never been this tight before in the shoulders and neck. I have not known her very long and really did not want to go into the details of my stress, my family life, our house that needs fixing but there isn’t the time or money for it, and my worries about family health issues. Also, everyone has their stress, their problems. And in some ways things have gotten easier with Michael. The thing that hasn’t gotten easier are my expectations for myself. I have been trying to do it all, like so many Moms, and we come to the point where our bodies just say enough. Enough carrying the load. You are tired. You need a break. This summer I have acknowledged where I have been falling short in my self-care ALL year around, not just in the summer. I have gotten good at it, but improvement can still happen.
The thing is it means getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to take the best care I can of me. It means telling people around me I can only do this much and I will not live with anything else but this standard. It means not settling for any family communication which does not include overall respect for all its members as a whole and as individuals. It means giving myself permission to cry, get angry and feel sad if that is how I am feeling. It also means not being afraid to be happy even if others are not. It means being true to myself in every sense of the word. This is what I have been teaching Michael and I realize I need to start applying it to myself.
Haven’t we all been there as Exceptional Parents? We tell our kids all the time not to be afraid. We break down big events and scary milestones into small steps for them, show them how it is not so scary after all, how they can do it if they just believe in themselves and take it one minute at a time. When was the last time we did this for ourselves? Many of us are stuck in old patterns- destructive habits, relationships, moods, whatever it is that isn’t serving us anymore. The butterfly is my favorite symbol for regeneration and rebirth. This summer I have taken the rebirth even further. I am challenging myself with breaking out of the old mold into new things. So this summer, take self-care to the next level. See what it is telling you to do for the rest of the year. Don’t be afraid to challenge old beliefs, thoughts, and habits. In the end, everyone in your family will win. Until next time.