Day 72 of 100 intentional, reflective steps
Balance. I have issues with balance. I tried a hover board the other day at a friends house and ended up falling into the lap of her husband, literally. In yoga I can stand on my head, on one leg and balance my whole body on my forearms but apparently my gracefulness does not extend to hover boards. But, the balance I am struggling to find emotional and practical, not physical.
Conceptually I get it. My nervous system is busted. I need to slow down, take care of myself and reestablish a baseline of normal so my body can heal. I understand. But what happens when my friend calls distressed because their husband is in the hospital? What if my family is all ill and needs me to extend myself for them? What do I do with the wedding planning for my oldest child? How can I avoid inevitable busyness celebrating the holidays?
I have been taught to live at the behest of others. This is the mantra of the mom. Others first. Pastors, caregivers and people of all faiths are regularly taught to “lay down their lives”, sacrifice, on behalf of others. I lived that as well as I could but it broke me. Now I’m emotionally and physically bankrupt. My doctor said, “You can no longer run into the burning buildings. You are not that person anymore and you may never be again.” I received those words with question marks and 11’s, wrinkles on my forehead. I didn’t understand. These new rules for living seem to create a cocoon that feels like it insulates me from the rest of the world. But when does that cocoon become self indulgent rather than helpful? Frankly, I feel selfish because my daily choices begin with the question “What do I need today? How can I take care of myself today?”
The monster question is, where is the balance between self care and living/loving others sacrificially? It’s all very disconcerting.