The other day I talked about where I’m at on my journey to finding myself again. I decided to start sharing my journey as I wish I’d started it sooner. I say that, but I know that it’s happened at the right time for me really. I think that what I’m saying is that putting it out there, some things may resonate with some of you and get you questioning whether you are where you want to be in your relationship with yourself, and if not, is it time for that to change?
It’s ok if it’s not the right time for you. Something I’ve realised over time – when thinking “why does it take decades for a person to become (or begin to be) wise?” – that no matter what anyone says or shows us, we have to be at the right time in our lives to be open to the teaching offered, and may also need to have gone through something to actually be able to understand that lesson in the context needed.
I know that I’m nowhere near reaching wisdom, but I’m definitely at a point in my life where I’m ready to take next step on my journey there! I’m ready to stop caring (so much) about what others think of me. I’m not prepared to waste any more of my life ignoring my inner self battering the door to my outer self. It’s time to break down my defenses, listen to my inner-self and act upon what I’m needing.
Isn’t it interesting that we tend to call that our inner child? Isn’t our inner “child” just our true self, no walls, barriers, pretenses? Maybe with some basic wants and needs and honest feelings, which society has branded “childish”? The part of us that wishes for simplicity and to be able to express our true feelings without worrying what other people think of us.
My inner-self – right now – screams for self-care, for time alone, for a break. I don’t have all the answers, but I know that self-care is an essential piece of the puzzle for loving yourself. I have a young baby at this point in my life and a lot of my go-to methods of self-care aren’t easily done right now, which is compounding my feelings of needing to run away. Not for good – just long enough to not be clock-watching, worrying that I need to be home soon. To not feel needed or wanted by anyone. To only have myself to answer to.
Most of my self-care needs and wants involve me being alone or away from my family. Maybe it’s because most of my life is spent with my children (due to home-educating), so I’m completely touched out both physically and mentally. Some I can do with them around me, but I don’t get as much from them that way. Here’s a list of some of the things on my personal list of self-care activities that really nurture me:
- sleeping with nobody else in the bed, for as long as my body needs
- spending time with friends, child-free
- spending time with my husband, child-free
- reading a book without any interruptions
- going for a walk (preferably barefoot) alone
- going for a drive alone, with the music right up
- talking to a friend without interruptions
- sitting somewhere in peace and quiet
- going trampolining
- going to a women’s circle/red tent
- having an unhurried, undisturbed poo in peace
As you can see, for me, most of these things cost nothing but their worth is priceless! I find that in the early days of having a baby, it’s like a switch goes off in me. Yes, it can be incredibly hard with a newborn/young baby, but my self-care needs go back to the absolute basics. Things like having a shower, eating one meal without having a baby on or attached to me, getting to spend one-on-one time with the older siblings who undoubtedly are feeling the change in their position in the family – those are things that fill my cup in the early months. Now, at 7 months in, I’m yearning for the “bigger” things. Things that I can’t quite do easily yet, but can see the point where it’ll become possible. That limbo. When I get to do some of those things, it’s like a taste, leaving me wanting more.
Trying to find the things to bridge the gap between now and when I can do things more easily is challenging. At the moment, I’m combining work with self-care – work is where I get to be child-free. It’s awful that I feel I need a reason to validate my getting self-care, isn’t it? It’s because it’s interchangeable, that I get more of it this way. Still not good, but I’ve recognised the problem at least.
The problem is, I need that self-care. It is essential for filling my cup so that I have something in it to give others. I’m working on ways of meeting my needs during this transitional time, and would love to hear what fills your cup. Maybe something will resonate with me!