There’s a dark side to self-care?
AND….. We’ve ALL experienced it! TIME to Talk about the very real darker side of self-care.
It is time to get real. You want to hear it. Your hearts need to hear it, and so here we go. Deep breath. Let’s get real.
So we started this series this week on Journaling. Pretty neutral, right? Except it isn’t. IT isn’t neutral at all. I gathered journals to take pictures of, planned out Facebook posts and topics that we would cover, took up my own journal, and then….. THEN came the comment that put a screeching halt to the efforts.
A major PAUSE MOMENT!
You see, I’ve taken that journey. You know the journaling journey. If you have ever taken up the practice to journal, then you know it. GREAT intentions. Journal shopping. Pen shopping. Stickers, glue, magazines, quotes, plus all the supplies or not are gathered. Old journals that are left half full or in drawers are replaced by the ONE journal that is going to awaken the practice, create incredible moments, and have you leaping into consciousness and depth.
Except day 5 comes and a kid spikes a fever, spits up on the cover, and your awake all evening. NO… at 6am, you are not going to WANT to journal. HERE comes the dark side. Queue Darth Vadar music or something. Instead of taking up permission and self-compassion, condemnation and judgement sweep in and ARE received.
What are those words?
They are critical. They are mean. They tear you apart. They are the ones you wouldn’t ever let be spoken to anyone you care about. They are the ones you would IMMEDIATELY begin to comfort a friend if you heard them coming out of his or her mouth. YET!!!!! Into your own heart you let them go, sink in, believe them and attack.
What are they? They tell you that you have all the best intentions BUT no follow through, they berate your efforts, they are cruel and cutting, debilitating and exhausting. Before you know it, even the journal has now become JUST one more thing to do upon an already TOO full day. How the f#*& did that happen? How did all the intentions for self-care just become too heavy of a yoke? What can anyone do about it?
I WAS SOOOOOO GUILTY!
Expectations. Performance. Perfection. Good Intentions. Desire. Hunger. Standards. Questions. Doubt. I was in my head. I wanted a daily practice. I wanted discipline. I wanted time for me and my own growth as a human being. BUT…. HOW?????????????????????????? How, amidst a list that grows ever longer by the moment, can any human being find the time? Take up the task? And we hear… MAKE the time. I’ve said that, too. Then I’m tired, want to get PJs on, watch Grey’s Anatomy, pull the covers up, soak in the silence for two seconds before I fall asleep. Or actually before I can “fall asleep,” pass out. That’s more the truth.
I found two words.
“Mims Driscoll, you are going to tell me that TWO words changed it all?”
I really am.
What were they?
Well, let me tell you more what happened.
I was tired. Exhausted more like it. I didn’t need one more thing to excel at, perform, or create. I needed quiet. I needed gentleness. I needed something. That is when the two words began to cross the pathways of my soul.
They were whispers at first.
Foreigners to my being.
I wouldn’t know their magnitude immediately, either.
I didn’t know how to hold them.
I didn’t know how to let them hold me.
UNTIL I DID!
What do permission and allowance look like?
THIS… This is what permission and allowance look like.
I want to journal. None of the ones I have feel right. I am not going to criticize myself for having a box full of 1/2 used or empty journals. I will grab my phone and make a voice memo, I will grab that extra $0.50 composition notebook that I bought in August at Target for my kids school supply list, I will grab whatever pen is right there, I will write one word.. ten… 100, or fill up page after page as I can and HOW I can, I will do this on my terms, I will not COMPARE, I will not need every page to be pretty, decorative, perfect. SOMETIMES… SOMETIMES… I just want to write, “THIS SUCKS.” And… move onward with my day.
Who is granting permission?
I am allowing myself to be gentle and kind to myself. I am taking the two seconds here and the one blip there. As my children would even come into the bathroom as I pee, I will close my eyes… take one deep breath, find something close to center and smile or frown or be me…..
IF… self-care is caring about myself. Then I will do it. On my own terms. I will not allow it to become burdensome. I will not allow it to become one more freaking thing on a to-do list already way to long to-do.
The dark and grey side of self-care is mean and brutal. Comparison and criticism are harsh and horrible. Look at this picture to the right, perhaps that is a visual of what the darker side of self-care and growth is like. Some light, but a lot of grey and dark clouds. When the burden of doing something for yourself becomes drudgery then the point of it is abolished. Self-care is hard work. Preferring yourself and nurturing yourself comes at a cost. Deciding what cost you are going to pay is up to you. There are more lessons to learn when stepping upon that landscape. That which we learn, that which we see, how we navigate the interior voices and places, granting ourselves permission and allowing ourselves to do what we can as we can and how we can is so utterly important.
SOOOOOO…. YES, this week we are talking about JOURALING.
But what does it look like to you? For you? HATE journaling… SCRAP it! There are thousands of other practices ditch the ones that don’t work for you, allow yourself to find what will. I take my notebook or my voice memo with me, days go by and I either do or don’t journal. I have determined though that I will be gentle and kind with myself and towards myself. The journal is sometimes my best friend and sometimes my nightmare. I am, however, stepping, as I would want and how I would want and finding my way.
The dark side of Self-Care actually granted to me the greatest gifts. I learned to show up for myself as I could and how I could, cherished myself, nurtured myself, was gentle to my being. Granted permission and allowed myself to view “failure,” in a different light.
Talk to us!
Share your thoughts, your practices. Send pictures of your journals, a journal page that was meaningful for you, share your story of self-care. Email me at Mims@LivingMangaliso.Com placing in the subject line JOURNAL, we will be picking one and sending a copy of AMAZEMENT: Reclaiming the Brilliance of Wonder to one of you.