Do One Thing That Scares You: Self-Care Edition
No I don't mean using antiperspirant, or shaving your legs. If that were the case, I'd get failing grades. My Irish roots enable me to skip shaving for ridiculously long amounts of time.
What I am talking about here is asking for what you need. Space? A hug? Less commitments in the form of your social schedule? Someone to vent to? Someone to leave you alone?
It's been very hard for me to verbalize and be assertive about what I need to take care of my self. I've often been caught up in what everyone else needed or particularly, what if my needs made another person feel bad or uncomfortable or face their issues or whatever? Then I'd bury my needs and pretend like they didn't matter. They of course would and would crop up in the form of obsessing over something. Like uh, boots. Or hair. You know the drill. Exactly what nutrition plan I would follow (with 100s of revisions). Good times.
I always knew something was off; after all deciding that bread is the devil shouldn't be a life or death matter, but I didn't figure it out until recently. When I deny my own basic needs; my needs to feel comfortable, safe, warm, loved and protected from harm, bad things happen.
So lately, I'd say within the past few months, I've started exercising my self-care muscles. Identifying what I need hasn't been that hard. I've just had to be more assertive in following through with those things, and not chewing off my fingernails at the prospect of possibly impinging on someone else's needs. Someone else's needs are theirs. Not mine. Repeat 500x. That's the hard part. That's where the bravery comes in. I make all kinds of justifications for why my needs don't really matter or specifically, the repercussions if I verbalize my needs. Terrifying!
The other hard/brave part is asking for what you want, and having the where-with-all to seek it and find it on your own if you don't get the answer you want. Today I was a nervous wreck; I had described to someone what I needed. I kept thinking, what if they come back and don't accept my terms? What if they say that's not acceptable? Then I told myself, that's ok. What's important is I said it out loud. I put myself out there and inched a bit closer to being brave. I knew that if it didn't work out, I'd be able to handle it with the strength and the satisfaction that I had said what I wanted. But it did work out, btw. Beautifully. Boundaries were drawn; guidelines met.
A wee little braver everyday.