Over two weeks I’ve been working on me. We all jokingly say Treat Yourself when it comes to self-care, but what I’ve realized is that it’s far more than that. It’s realizing that as much as we need, and want, to control our lives we cannot control every aspect of it. There’s no possible way to control others actions, we can only choose how we react to them. This seems like a simple life lesson, but it’s not. Most of us inherently want to help. We want to help because we were raised that way. It’s habits we formed over the years. We don’t want people to suffer.
I’m a fixer. I want to fix the world. I want to fix other people’s problems. The biggest mistake I have made is not fixing my own though. I’ve found myself venting to other, but not truly fixing some deep seeded issues of mine. My therapist asked me what is the first thing we do when the air bags are deployed on a plane. Despite never flying I know that answer. We are supposed to put the bag on ourselves because if something happens to us we cannot help anyone else. Yet we rarely allow ourselves to take the first breath.
Various forms of self-care exists. Retail therapy is one of them, but we can’t rack up credit card debt every time we are upset. The temptation is great of course, but one can budget some of the money on therapy. We can spend some money on taking yourself out to eat or to a movie. Maybe on both. We can get mani-pedis, our hair done, or go get a massage. These things have provided me confidence that I painfully needed and did not realize. Granted, I cannot afford to go as much as I’d like to go, but I put them in my budget because they help me.
I refuse to break my budget to make these things work. If I cannot get a massage one month then I can’t get a massage. Sometimes I forgo the pedicure and just get a manicure. Some people are going to view this as wasted money, but I have worked hard to earn the money I have now and I deserve to spend it how I see fit. I’m letting go of any negativity that people might throw my way for treating myself in that manner. However, I have chosen to also spend a weekly copay to see a therapist as well.
An environment where there’s no judgement truly helps. I’ve advocated therapy for everyone I know. I’ve made comments that I think we all need therapy and would be better people for it. Yet I didn’t go to therapy myself. I think a big reason for that wasn’t because I viewed myself as a failure. There’s a stigma to therapy that of course makes us think such but because I was ready to take that step. It’s okay to take that step even if it’s watching videos.
Through therapy I found an amazing set of videos by Julia Christina, one which I have included below. You can find her on Youtube and she has truly made me think about myself. She has made me think about past experiences that have influenced me and taken away my power. I’m not perfect. I’m not God. I can only do so much and that’s okay. I cannot fix anyone else and that’s okay too. What I can do is evaluate myself and work towards something better.
I can work toward gaining my strength back. I can work toward saying no more. I can have a weekend of reading three books if I want because those are my plans. I can work toward voicing my opinion again. I can work toward caring less what people think and know my own truth. I’m important. This is something I’ve spoken before, but lately have not been able to believe. That’s something I can work on too.