Soft rippling water, aromatic fragrances, sumptuous fruit and magic masseuses. These are among the many luxuries at my favorite hideaway, nestled in a quiet neighborhood not far from the Galleria. I’d been to many a spa, but my close friend – the artist who doesn’t know she’s an artist – first introduced me to this haven, and it is undoubtedly my preferred place to visit when I feel like I really need to love me some – me. I mentioned it recently in a conversation with a fellow co-worker when we both concluded that sometimes we need to press the pause button in our lives.
Of late (and to my surprise), I’ve experienced a terrible flare up with a most challenging ailment – tempromandibular joint syndrome (also known as TMJ). It’s a severely painful disorder that affects more women than men, typically between their 20s and 40s, and while there are several factors that can contribute to the diagnosis, one of the largest factors is stress. Stress! Imagine that. Me! The queen of all things bubbly and content!
As I begin recounting what I’ve been doing lately, I was trying to search for how I could have arrived at this unfavorable destination. In honesty, I do realize that I hate conflict, avoid it at all costs, and suffer from the Superwoman Syndrome as well (O.K., so I made that up – but I do think it’s a thing)! I have many epiphanies through dialogue, though. I concluded that in my effort to take care of everything to do on my growing To Do List – I forgot how important it is to take care of me. Sound familiar?
My indicators? Weight Loss. Migraines. Extra doctor visits. Fatigue. And TMJ flare ups. The latter feels the most serious, as the pain, on a scale of 1 -10 this week reached at least 11 or 12, complete with an Emergency Room visit, and that can be quite scary. So here’s the thing. I’ve also discovered that I am not the only one who is immensely committed to taking care of people, places, priorities, problems, and preferences – but when we attempt to do this without taking care of ourselves, we create – a mess.
I believe most of us love ourselves, but my question is – do we love ourselves enough? I think I’ve been loving myself to a minimum; putting my emotional, physical, and spiritual health at risk because I thought I could handle putting myself on the back burner for the sake of getting the job done; making the perfect presentation; crossing everything off the to do list, and making sure everyone’s needs were met – except my own… But it came at an expense that was higher than I could afford.
So I’ve decided to love myself more. My husband, mom, and best friends seem to share one chief edict for me: “Slow down!” I admit, I find it terribly difficult; but, I’ve since added to the directive, “and love myself enough.” I’m going to love myself enough that I schedule time – to relax; to rewind; reflect, and rejuvenate. For the past two days, I’ve done…nothing. Which for me, is quite the feat…because I always feel I should be doing something! Well, my “something” this weekend entails taking care of Carla. And though difficult, I like how it feels – and I’m feeling much better.
Take Away: If you have not been loving yourself enough, rewrite your road map. You are of much better use to your family, friends, employer, local fellowship, or whomever, when you are healthy, happy, and whole. If you don’t love yourself enough, your body will protest – in one way or another. Don’t wait for the fall out. Leap forward – and relax! #catchyourdreams, #catchsomerest, #loveyourself
P.S. I highly recommend the Deep Tissue Massage. It’ll change your life!