Sometimes we just have too much to do for too many people which can interfere with taking care of ourselves. We may not know how to just say “no” or just “be still” and reflect and acknowledge where we are at in our life – for this very moment.
I know there have been many, many moments in my life that I just couldn’t take a step forward, didn’t know how to move forward with my life – and it caused me great anxiety, worry, depression and guilt that I wasn’t doing enough for my family, my friends, and those around me who I am responsible to. But, I learned going through the storm…. we can only do so much in that given day, in that given period, in our life. And as I get older, I am learning that I can’t feel bad about what I did or didn’t do for everyone in my life. Maybe that’s all I could do for that hour, that moment, and that week. We all have different seasons in life – and life is a rollercoaster of different moments and experiences. Life is full of ups and downs.
Several years ago, I ended up in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer. I was so sick and was severely anemic. I received multiple blood transfusions while hospitalized for four days. I was still so weak when I left the hospital, but I thought the “worst” was over. The gastroenterologist took biopsies during my time in the hospital – and weeks later I was told “you have a form of lymphoma” – C-A-N-C-E-R. I was stopped dead in my tracks… the emotional and mental anguish – and the uncertainly of my life and future – was such a difficulty journey. I was so thankful that I required minimal treatment and was declared “cancer free” months later!
But during this frightening time, I felt like my life stopped completely, as if I was in some type of “tunnel” and didn’t know how to go through it to reach the other side. I could only do very little for myself let alone for anyone else. I didn’t really understand what the next steps would be… but over several months I healed physically and emotionally.
One of the most important things I understand now, it’s okay to just be in the present and not have to be and do everything for everyone else. I think we must learn to do, and be, the best we can for that moment or season in our life … that moment will not last forever (thank goodness, right?) and we will move forward again hopefully in the near future.
Learn from the journey, give back, and do what you can down the road…. when you are able … and not a moment before! Don’t try to do too much for everyone. And certainly, don’t feel bad about it.
I recall back when I was a young, stressed out, working mother, I was asked time and time again to teach Children’s Church at our church. I enjoyed it and did… but over the years I felt “obligated” as my children were in Children’s Church. Looking back over the last few years I taught Children’s Church, I became “burned out”, and I should have resigned from my volunteer position sooner than I did. See, if we try to take on too much and we can’t do another thing for another person, we are not doing anyone any good – especially ourselves. Years later, when my cup was running over, I learned to “just say no” and move on. I refuse to feel bad if I just can’t do another thing.
Let’s all take a step back – breathe…. And live our lives for the moment – for our own emotional and physical wellbeing. Let’s do what’s right for us for that moment… and it could very well be not doing anything – and learning to realize that’s okay, too. We are not being selfish …. we are taking care of ourselves because as we all have learned, we will never be any good for anyone else if we are not taking care of ourselves first! This moment… whether good or bad – will not last forever!
“Accept where you are, accept what you have, accept who you are ~ do what you can with all of that and let it be enough.” (Nikki Rowe)
And please remember…
“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” (Eleanor Brownn)
So let’s all practice a little self-care this week, so we can take care of each other … wishing you a blessed and peaceful week –