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Self-Care Tip #191 – Do what you desire to get friendly with yourself.
What is your most core desire? I am learning more about mine.
I wonder at the improvement in my quality of life since blogging with you. It is More than the pleasure of writing; which I do love and have missed for years. It is More than the pleasure of being productive; a natural high for my temperament. It is More than the self-care tips listed off that roll back; a tide of all that is sent out comes in again to wash over me and change the shape of my life.
This morning I ran into a newer friend. We came into each other’s lives, catalyzed by the ingredient that this blog provided. I am sure I would not previously have allowed myself the pleasure of speaking with her for long without it. My temperament has always been a driving force that pushes me into “the barn.” I often miss the journey for the end. This is “The More” that has been given to me. Connection.
Now people actually look different. Despite years of medical education, years of psychotherapy and my years of life, I never saw people to the extent that I do now. Each of us here for a time with our stories, our pearls to offer and each of us with our essence to share for eternity. It is one more time for me when I am open-eyed, open-mouthed gawking at the thought of “The More” that is still coming. Better than this.
Think of your most core desire; what you are driven toward by biology, genes and higher intelligence. What has given you access to that? Now think about how to go for More. That is self-care.
Question: Oh, you know what I’m going to ask…
Self-Care Tip #146 – Negotiate to get friendly with yourself.
How do you fit in socially when you’re taking care of yourself? To be social you need another person. How does that socialization become compatible with self-care?
These were the questions my brilliant sister-in-law, Trixie Hidalgo asked. It isn’t so apparent really and I get what she’s asking. Self-care is not all about the self. There is clearly an exchange. We are getting something from our environment that in turn is taking from us. That environment can be anything, such as music, movies, books, work, or interpersonal relationships. We negotiate with that. We agree to what we get and what we give contextually.
How does one person in wanting to define self-care for themselves harmonize the exchange? It’s a reduction of laments and celebrations. For example, in going to medical school I lost time, opportunity to be a young mother, and joined without directly asking to, the competitive world that is culturally considered masculine – to name a few. Yet the celebrations, although never equal to the losses, and vice versa, I agreed to. I made the exchange between myself and my social context.
The self-care skill comes in the experience of your own self-discovery. How does one do this? Look inside yourself over and over again. Lament. Celebrate. Negotiate.
For You: I’m dying to hear your responses. I have a feeling that they will complete the post, as so often they do. Please tell me how you reconcile the effort towards self-care with the inherent social context.
Having another child born, our hearts somehow open up and make more love, more space where things once seemed crowed up like hobos in a boxcar. Our time and energy does that too. Feeling like you can’t do another thing by 6 PM? Feeling like watching TV on the couch is an accomplishment at that point? I’m telling you that this changes. Do what you want. You may not realize it yet but you want something special. You want something that you were designed to do. When you discover what that is, activity becomes joyful, congruent with your inner self. Somehow there is more room in your day. More energy that comes with no strings attached.
My husband just came home from a tech conference. He was told by famous Silicon Valley junkies, while sitting in an audience of other wannabe’s, “Don’t do a startup. You’ll fail.” It was a secondary message that returned intermittently – unless you can’t sleep at night because you need to solve a problem – if you are trying to do a startup company for any other reason than for your own sanity, you won’t make it. These people were doing what they were doing because they felt like it was their life’s nectar. It was their pearl of great price. Their efforts were fueled by their own genetic design.
In medical school, I used to look around me confused by the obvious natural positive responses of other students. I looked at myself and thought I was a fake.
I looked at them and thought, “There’s the real thing. I wonder what it feels to be the real thing.” I know. Sad huh? Ah well. Turns out I’m a flaming extrovert. I get energy from being with people. Being alone takes energy from me. Wether it happens slowly or quickly, either way eventually I have to resurface and connect with someone to re-tank. Every day when I sat down to study, I felt alone, energy sucked out of me, the ground was going to swallow me up. And I did it still. Ground through my long hours long enough to make it to where I belonged. With you in psychiatry :).
Here’s the news. We are all “The real thing!” Yah! We have our own greatness.
I’m not talking about opportunity to reach that greatness. Some of that we are given and some of that we make. I’m just ringing our bells with the idea. If you want to read more about this, read the blog posts on temperaments.
Question: Are you doing what you want? Please tell me your story.
Self Care Tip #64 – There is room in your wanting self for more. Be a friend to yourself.