When there is something wrong in my life, I truly believe that if I can just figure it out that I can move beyond it. I believe if I do everything right, then I can cure my malady. As in: if I just eat the green leafy vegetables and not the gluten, dairy, meat, nightshades, boxed, canned, or processed food then all symptoms will disappear, and I will lose 10 pounds, look 10 years younger and also gain 20 IQ points. And become spiritually enlightened. And never get another parking ticket.
It also works for my mindset. If I can just choose my attitude, laugh on demand, recite daily affirmations and fake it until I make it then all of the afflictions of my mind and oh sure why not, my body, too, will evaporate.
I am sure that these things are true for many people. They are probably true for you. You probably have great stories about curing yourself of something horrible with just a flip of your wrist. Awesome. Fabulous. Great that you can mend yourself and not get poked by the needle.
Me? Yeah. Not so much. I just try so hard and then harder and then more and then when it doesn't work, when I am still depressed or in pain or unable to process big emotional rents in my life tickety-boo, all set, well, I just find that I just--melt.
|Photo by Anne Principe, Divign Thinking|
But maybe, I am doing it right. Or right enough to have it not be all my FAULT. Maybe generations of mental health troubles in my family history could be a sign that for me, depression is something that is beyond "choose your attitude." And maybe pain in my joints and crushing fatigue isn't going to be cured by being free of everything in my diet but blueberries and brown rice--maybe there is something, you know, wrong. Maybe there's not, maybe I'm just not TRYING enough, but you know, maybe there is. Maybe.
I have told my beloveds for years and years that they must take care of themselves like they'd care for a dear friend. This week I decided that there is a higher standard. I think we need to take care of ourselves like we would take care of a four-year-old, and not a four-year-old that we can give back, not a visiting kid who you might feed Froot Loops and take swimming all day long with no nap and only Doritos for food.
No, this is a higher standard. We need to take care of ourselves like we'd care for a deeply loved four-year-old that we have to keep. That means getting enough sleep every night on clean sheets with soft blankets, and healthy snacks both morning and afternoon. We need playtime and arts and crafts with long naps taken curled around a floppy dog. We need to get taken to the movies and out for ice cream but not too much and no movies that will scare us so much that we can't sleep. We need to be rocked in rocking chairs and read excellent stories--even if that means now we have to do our own rocking and reading, that's OK. We need to treat ourselves as if we actually cared, as if we actually loved us.
Or, I mean, I do.
I'm sure you've got it all together and can sew in a zipper that fixes up your broken heart without missing a single, organic, freshly juiced kale fueled morning work out.
Or, you know, maybe not.