“Be gentle with yourself”

Today was a weird day. After last week, it was a pleasant reprieve. I will take weird over nasty any day. It was a day of talking and healing from some of the injuries that occurred last week. Even though I felt like crap all day, people reached out to me to talk over their troubles. I enjoy that very much. There is a real honor when people tell you their issues. It is more than just venting, although that can happen. The conversations I had today were people who just needed to be validated and given a verbal hug. I do not resolve their problems, nor do I take them on. I just listen. I often share an anecdotal story if it relates. But often, they just want someone else to say they are doing OK. I also mended a misunderstanding from last week. And by talking I was able to really see what happened which was not really what I thought it was. I am the first to admit, I react poorly to harshness and snideness (this is a Jane word but you can use it). But I am learning to not take everything so personally. It is very hard work for me.

I had a strange weekend. It was not bad, just weird. There was a lot going on and I was pulled into many directions. My house wanted me to clean and sort through the piles. The garden beckoned to have the leaves cleaned up. The house needed its fall decorations. My closets begged to have the summer clothes switched out for sweaters and turtlenecks. The laundry hung limp out of the washer waiting for the machine to begin. The boxes of sorted goods were perched by the door to go to the volunteer store to be resold. The dishes in the sink were reminiscent of a quick breakfast. In a corner of the couch sat my recorder and the music patiently waiting for me to practice. A new DVD on Tai Chi sat next to it wondering if would ever get the chance to show me its wonders. Everything beckoned.

In the morning, I had a wonderful session with my mentor who is such a blessing to me. We talked for hours and she worked with me on a new process of releasing. I am not going to share more than that until I see how it integrates with me. But she told me to be “gentle with myself”. The rest of the weekend offered a weak promise of maybe a spare moment to do just that. I decided I was going to make time.

In a perfect world, being gentle with myself would be to go to The River’s edge and sit on my private piece of dock surrounded with geese and ducks. Charlene would be close as would Broken Wing and Flower. The air would be warm as the sun dabbled and sparkled on the water. Above would be the aimless gliding of Osprey reminding me that my guides are always with me. I can get to that place in my head if I am still. I can get there if I have time to just be.

But I also have my garden chair. So I retreated there and sat comforted in the rays of the sun as it pierced through the golden canopy above my head. The chipmunks scampered. The leaves make them sound so much bigger than they are. A slow squirrel caught Bishop’s eye and he took off after it. The squirrel ended up in a shrub just out of the reach of his grasp. Bishop was so proud of himself for treeing the animal he barked with great joy whirling around. His woof said, “Look Mom what I did.” I did not have the heart to tell him the squirrel ran down the other side when he was dancing. Although the garden is wilted, the roses I planted have a few blooms on them. There is beauty and peace in the golden carpet now covering the grass.

This is being gentle with myself. It was short lived. Real life called and there is only one person who can answer that. In between chores, I would find a moment to read other blogs only to see so many had a tough week last week. My mentor and I talked about it as even the most trained and balanced had a tough time. My attempts in trying to find more time to be gentle with myself never happened again.

As the weekend came to end, my weariness hit me. I was not tired from chores. It was a deep weariness of being depleted. It was the fatigue of someone who has been in a struggle, even if it was a futile fight. I retreated to my bed and allowed the river of bent up tears flow. As my mentor said, tears are a river of my own making and as cleansing and healing as THE RIVER. I fell asleep and awoke at 3am. There were so many thoughts swirling. I often now try not to let that happen. I calm myself down with breathing and other techniques I have learned. But there was a need to sort out thoughts so I let them play out. At 4:30 I got up and began my day.

One of the thoughts that was prevalent was the need to put myself first more often. I have never done that, and hence I get to the point where I have so little left to give that I am brittle. This is going to take some work. And the ones who are used to getting so much from me are not going to like it. I was raised that women serve men but this girley has never succumbed to that train of thought. But in hindsight, I often serve everyone else except myself and after a while the fuel is gone. I do not know how long I have left in my life but I am going to come first more often.

So how did Project Jane go today?…not so good at first. I think I have run myself down so much that I made myself sick. I felt physically awful today with an upset gut and headache. I was feeling so poorly I did not go to my Tai Chi class. What I needed was exactly what I did. I need some me time. Writing is me time. Listening to my music is me time. After I publish this, I will do a guided meditation and go to bed. All me time. For people like me, we need to teach ourselves that if we do not give to ourselves and do for ourselves, no one else will. It is what all we deserve. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Tomorrow, Project Jane continues.


4 thoughts on ““Be gentle with yourself”

  1. Absolutely PUT YOURSELF FIRST. You deserve it, and it is the only way that you will have anything left in the tank to share compassion and love with others on your path. A good post! Peace . . .

  2. sometimes a reprieve from life is what we need…
    glad you took the me time..
    it is an important moment to just be you…for you
    Hope your week is going well…
    Take Care…You Matter …

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