Why is it so hard to nurture ourselves? I mean really and truly nurture ourselves. I don’t mean getting your hair done, or a pedi/mani or even botox ( I have absolutely nothing against that!) We go to the gym-we do lots of things to take care of ourselves “outwardly”.
I’m talking about something deeper. The other day a good friend of mine called and told me that her son had been really sick. Had to go to an ER clinic, get fluids for dehydration, had a high fever. This was on Saturday. On Sunday, she let him go out with his friends to a movie and whatever else-while he still had a fever. Aside from the fact that he could be contagious, my first thought was “she’s not teaching him how to nurture himself.” How to take care of himself. He went back to the doctor on Monday who told her/him no leaving the house, no friends, no activities. Well, DUH! But, it’s really no surprise to me. While my friend is an amazing woman with a successful career and 35 years of sobriety- a staunch believer in AA and that whole program-she doesn’t really know how to nurture herself. Oh, she does all the stuff that I mentioned above.. And, she eats well and doesn’t drink. But she would never think of getting a massage, or treating herself to a much needed vacation, or just letting herself “Be”.
I have a cousin who’s very overweight-she would be considered obese.Of course she has a lot of health problems, takes a lot of medication. But other than the medication, she doesn’t do anything to help herself. She eats a horrible diet, no exercise. The other day while talking to her, she mentioned that she was staying home all day because she needed to take a urine sample into the doctor the next day and it would take her all day to accumulate what was needed-I don’t remember what the exact amount was, but I was shocked and told her that she wasn’t drinking enough water if she had trouble getting that amount in a 24 hour period. Jeez! I drink so much water during the day I could probably fill up a 2 gallon bucket! Her comment to me was, “Well, you take care of your body.” My God! Well yeah! and look at the difference in her health and mine-even while I was drinking! How and why do we become so disconnected to our bodies? To our Spirits?
While I’m not entirely sure of the why-fear again?-I do know part of the how, and, of course alcohol is a fabulous way to disconnect from our spirit and our bodies.When we self medicate and numb out, we also numb that spritual part that is so important. And how often during a drinking bout are we really conscious of what it’s doing to all of our organs? How much our liver, kidneys, brain, heart-everything is being atttacked by alcohol, struggling to neutralize it and process it out of our system. Trying to get the poison out. Overworking. Straining.
I think many people have self nurturing confused with selfishness. My mother did. Oh, she kept up all of the physical stuff, but internally-no way. Not only did she feel like anything like that was self centered, it scared the shit out of her.
Why is it that it is so much easier to hate ourselves than to love ourselves? Why do we continue to pass down our inability to nurture ourselves to our offspring? Why do some people sneer at people that take care of themselves in a healthy, loving, nurturing way?
I’ve noticed that many people become uncomfortable with the concept of Self-love. They kind of dance around the subject-using all kinds of excuses and things that they think are Self-love. I have a friend who is addicted to exercise. She will work out for 8 hours a day. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor. She is one of the most un-yogic people I know. But, in her mind, she’s all about nurturing herself. While she’s using exercise to numb out and abusing her body by overworking it. I think in part the reason why people get uncomfortable with the Self-love and nurturing concept is because they weren’t taught by their parents. And it takes some internal work, some effort and some changes-as well as acknowledgement that our parents may not have given us something that we truly need.
While writing this post and doing a little research, I came across this article by Dr. Leon F. Seltzer, Phd. From Self Indulgence to Self Nurturing There was a quote in there that really hit home, “You never get enough of what you don’t REALLY want”. This was so true for me and is for those who continue to struggle. That hole will never be filled up by alcohol or food or shopping or sex or any other external source. It can only be healed and filled by You. By you loving yourself. Taking care of yourself. Nurturing yourself.
With Love and Self-Love