Melody Beattie writes:
“When will we become lovable? When will we feel safe? When will we get all the protection, nurturing, and love we so richly deserve? We will get it when we begin giving it to ourselves.”Beyond Codependency
The idea of giving ourselves what we want and need can be confusing, especially if we have spent many years not knowing that it’s okay to take care of ourselves. Taking our energy and focus off others and their responsibilities and placing that energy onto ourselves and our responsibilities is a recovery behavior that can be acquired. We learn it by daily practice.
We begin by relaxing, by breathing deeply, and letting go of our fears enough to feel as peaceful as we can. Then, we ask ourselves: What do I need to do to take care of myself today, or for this moment?
What do I need and want to do? What would demonstrate love and self-responsibility?
Am I caught up in the belief that others are responsible for making me happy, responsible for me? Then the first thing I need to do is correct my belief system. I am responsible for myself.
Do I feel anxious and concerned about a responsibility I’ve been neglecting? Then perhaps I need to let go of my fears and tend to that responsibility.
Do I feel overwhelmed, out of control? Maybe I need to journey back to the first of the Twelve Steps.
Have I been working too hard? Maybe what I need to do is take some time off and do something fun.
Have I been neglecting my work or daily tasks? Then maybe what I need to do is get back to my routine.
There is no recipe, no formula, no guidebook for self-care. We each have a guide, and that guide is within us. We need to ask the question: What do I need to do to take living responsible care of myself? Then, we need to listen to the answer. Self-care is not that difficult. The most challenging part is trusting the answer, and having the courage to follow.
- Owning Our Power (toddlohenry.com)
- What If? (toddlohenry.com)
- Combating Shame (toddlohenry.com)
- Family Buttons (toddlohenry.com)
- Letting Go (toddlohenry.com)
- Boundaries (toddlohenry.com)
- Recognizing Choices (toddlohenry.com)
- MELODY BEATTIE: Taking Care of Herself (time.com)