Honoring Yourself ~A Reminder

This blog is dedicated to my friend who at age 45 was told to change his life or he would not live to  see 50. There comes a time in our lives where we have spent years taking care of everyone and everything else. We give and give and give and we sacrifice.  Our own needs fall by the wayside. A crying baby in the night cannot be ignored in favor of your need for sleep. But there comes a time when you reach the right time and place and it becomes a necessity to return to yourself and nurture yourself. Our society tells us that it is selfish to put ourselves first but this couldn’t be further from the truth. You know how when you are on an airplane and they explain what to do in the event of a crash? You put the oxygen mask on yourself  FIRST because you certainly can’t help anyone else if you are DEAD. This is a great analogy for all of life. You can’t be helpful to anyone else if you are spent, exhausted, stressed and unwell.  I have arrived at a time in my own life where I am in transition, physical as well as emotional, mental and spiritual. My kids are nearly 28 and 21, so my days as “hands on” mother are done (although you never stop being a mom). I never had time to know what I wanted or what I enjoyed. I was too busy taking care of my kids and working and taking care of the home. It was just them and I for a very, very long time and that was all good but I didn’t take care of me.   Now that I am in a different time of my life,  I am finding that I need to return to my spiritual practices that have been neglected for  so long. I need to meditate and read and change my focus. I need to spend time in nature and with quietness and peace.  I need to eat differently (I have been) and exercise and take better care of my physical body. I need to say “No” to obligations that drain my energy and don’t enhance my life. I need to establish very clear boundaries with people who drain my energy and even  clear them out of my space. I need to say “Yes” to the things that bring me joy.   It’s time to focus on me and take care of me, perhaps for the first time ever. It is not a crime and absolutely nothing we should feel guilty about when we choose to put our own  needs first. Sometimes our physical and mental health demand that we do. So, today, even people who think you can’t possibly find an extra 5 minutes in your day to do something nurturing for yourself; stop, slow down, think of yourself and choose to be kind to YOU. You will find that in the long run you are healthier and happier and have more to give to those you love.  You have to love and honor yourself first and foremost then everything else falls into place. This is something we forget and something I have have very much forgotten until now that my body and psyche are demanding my attention. Don’t wait until you are spent and exhausted. Don’t wait till a doctor tells you that you may not have 5 more years to live. Don’t wait until your body and mind have to scream at you. (Trust me, this can be very unpleasant.)  Surround yourself as much as you can with the people and things that you love and  nurture yourself as you would your own child. Why do we so often give to other people what we find so hard to give (or do) to  ourselves? Kathy Lee 4/9/2013    )O(

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