On Being Kind to One’s Self…


“Be Kind to yourself,” said my Interior Design professor, regarding overcomplicating my first project of the semester. That saying stuck in my head like a whisper. It was there to remind me every time I would disappear into the rabbit-hole that is sometimes my mind.

“Be Kind to yourself” I would hear in the back of my mind, as I was racing out of the house to run yet another series of errands after having only 3 hours of restless sleep the night before.

Each and every time, I would bat that thought aside. ‘Ain’t nobody got for that!’ I would counter, thinking about all that I (thought) I had to do that day. I thought relaxation and self-care was just for women of leisure.

Why is it that we wear busy-ness as a badge of honor?

Why do we race from place to place, cramming way to much into our way-too-busy lives, yet feeling guilty for not doing more? Why do we feel guilty for taking time to rest and relax?

These are questions that I’ve been pondering in the last few weeks. This has come on the heels of me being diagnosed with Anemia and High Blood Pressure and being dehydrated.

Last week I made myself do something that terrifies me.  I actually went to see a doctor for a check-up. I’ve always been pretty healthy.  Up until about 8 years ago, I took my relative good health for granted. I looked forward to going to the doctor because I just knew there was no cause for alarm. But as I’ve gotten older, and actually developed the kind of scars that come from living life, I’ve gotten to be terrified of any kind of check up.

Why? Because finding something wrong means I now have to change my life. I must now tend to what is wrong. I will no longer be able to flit about, following my impulses. In short, life will no longer be normal.

Yes, I’m well aware that finding something early means a better chance of successful treatment. But nonetheless I was terrified of going to the doctor.

So I ignored the dip in energy levels…the climbing blood pressure readings…the persistent itchy rashes…the worrisome headaches…the muscle spasms in my neck…My husband telling me I don’t get enough rest, and that that I do too much unnecessary running around.

Then 3 weeks ago I got what I can only assume was the flu. And I was knocked flat on my ass.   I could do nothing but lay on the couch and feel like death. I binge watched my Hulu queue, listened to some audio books, coughed and sneezed. A lot.  Heck, I’m still coughing and sneezing…

Where was I racing to all the time? Apparently to a stroke or heart attack.

Why did I feel pressure to do so much all the time?

Why do I let guilt force me to try to be EVERTYTHING to EVERYONE, EVERYTIME?

That’s what I’m trying to figure out and correct.  So now I’m re-evaluating the path I’ve been on, trying to control what I can, and manage what I can’t.

What about you? Are you being Kind to Yourself?