Why Do We Find it So Hard to Take Care of Ourselves?
What you would do if you walked into a room and a baby was crying with distress alone in its crib?
Your VERY NATURAL response is going to be:
- Pick the baby up and snuggle it close
- Use your voice to soothe and calm
- Cuddle / rock / sway / change movements to settle
- Respond to actual physical needs - hunger, thirst, nappy change
- If it’s in an environment which could be uncomfy (too loud, hot, cold, exposed) move to somewhere new
- Take baby to their mum/dad/familiar caretaker
What you WOULD NOT do is:
- Ask that baby to earn your care
- Tell the baby to get over itself
- Ask the baby to look after you instead
- Get angry or upset that the baby needed care
- Expect the baby to wait
Why then do we withhold the same level of love + acceptance + self care from ourselves?
I often have convos with women who are on the cusp of prioritising their own self care, and there are themes in the surface objections why this is not available / possible / ok to do.
Here's the top ten reasons I hear:
1. numbing - so busy numbing I don't know what my needs are
2. conditioning - I don't feel right taking care of myself
3. identity - I am the caretaker, not the care receiver
4. boundaries - I don't know when to stop DOing, and start BEing
5. no reference point - of a woman taking care of herself
6. self worth issues - I don't deserve to feel good
7. feels selfish - putting myself first doesn't feel right
8. feeling like you have to earn it - and that "earning" list just never gets done
9. no bandwidth - don't have the resources to work out wth I need, and
10. it just feels safer to do what I always have!
All very “sensible” objections.
But what if I told you the very way to
❤️ unravel old hurts
❤️ let go of stuff that isn’t yours anymore
❤️ ride the waves of this discombobulating peri rollercoaster with more ease
❤️ take care of your own needs as readily as you would that that baby's needs.
🧚♂️ Have the courage to turn inwards.
🥰 To connect to your heart.
😊 To gently ask your soul “how can I honour your right now?”.
If not before, midlife is the perfect time to learn to listen and respond to your own needs:
Need helping listening and responding to your needs in this messy and magical midlife?