I have neither the time nor energy for a lot of things that need attending, especially myself. I have an exhausted body, low energy level, slight depression creeping in now, and an always ready soul who just does not get the meaning of the word ‘NO’.
I seem to be constantly busy with different matters that are a bit about me but mostly they are about others. It is not obvious for an untrained eye but noticeable. The things that I spend most of my time with somehow concern mostly others in a way that it looks like my business. I am well trained so when I make others’ lives my business I do it in a subtle way, like taking on a job that requires me to take care of somebody who cannot take care of him/herself.
It is all tricky though because I do not do these ‘caring’ things because I really care about the people, I do them in order to protect myself. My thinking goes like this: until I am a good caretaker I am needed, I cannot be thrown out or be easily replaced – I am important.
By now, I have learnt to take care about others’ needs so well that I don’t even notice that I have needs on my own or I pretend not to have them.
But today is a new day. Until now I thought that the only way to survive is to take care of others. Today I understood that the only way to survive is to take care of myself. And I know now why.
You hear newage people say a lot these days ‘I do these things so to take care of myself’, but actually they have no idea what that means – big judgment here, however, true, for most anyway. I know it because I did it myself. ‘Taking care’ was simply about trying to avoid doing the things I found challenging or was afraid of, so instead, I said ‘I’d prefer taking care of myself’.
Until we know what bears true meaning to us, we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. We go with the crowd and buy the things that they tell us to buy under the label of ‘because I am worth it!’ Well, I am worth way more than that!
Today I learnt what ‘taking care of myself’ means to me; it allows me the freedom to be. Let me show you the paradox. I take care of others so they would take care of me in return, so they appreciate me and make me feel important; I make sure they will need me so they won’t desert me. In the meantime I have no time or energy to do the things that fulfill me. So I am unhappy, unfulfilled, expecting a lot from the other person who does not deliver (does not even know that he/she should), I get upset and eventually all hell breaks loose and I scream. I am exhausted. I have nothing more to give. I start feeling scared that I won’t be important any more. But I have not more energy to invest into a lost cause. I move on to find another one to take care of.
A child can only feel free to express him/herself and forget about the world when he/she feels safe in the care of his/her caretaker. I can complain that I did not have the right caretakers but it would be pointless. I am also a grown up now. I am my best caretaker.
It took me a really long time to understand that the reason why I don’t live the life I think I deserve, that I am capable of is that I spend all my precious energy and time on creating others’ lives.
Realizing all this does not make it happen, unfortunately. A new phase is starting now whereas I catch myself when I do the usual stuff – taking care of others’ business – then I stop, I breathe, I don’t move, I stay with it (especially the discomfort of it) then I just let it pass. Then I take all that energy that I have saved upon not doing my usual routine and invest it in something meaningful to myself … like writing a book!