The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself (When Life Knocks You Out Cold)
Sometimes life gets stressful, you face obstacles and things aren’t going so well. Other times, life gets in the boxing ring with you and knocks you out cold, but waits the full 12 rounds before doing so; that way you’re black and blue and nearly blind before going down for the count. When you come to, you are not the same person that entered the ring. Unrecognizable to your own self, you wonder where that fighter you know you are
Perhaps it would help if I start at the beginning.
On February 1, 2014, my phone rang and buzzed and nearly fell off my nightstand sometime around 5 a.m.
That phone call was challenging, but not for the obvious reasons only. My dad and I had never had a close relationship and in fact I had built up a lot of bitterness against him for not making more of an effort in my life and the life of my daughters. I made a command decision after that phone call though to let it go, and I boarded a plane with my daughters to go be with my dad. From that point on, there was an understanding of forgiveness and love, demonstrated by my presence. I said all I needed to say by showing up. And I continued to show up each month until he finally passed on June 2, 2014, four months after his initial seizure.
During those four months, I completely sabotaged my health by living on airport food and diet Dr. Pepper, not getting enough sleep, stressing out about when that phone call would come and it would be my final trip home, and essentially putting everyone else first. This would be understandable if it had ended when I assumed it would end; once my dad passed
But life doesn’t stop and that’s the whole point behind taking care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others. When we put ourselves first, as in self-care, it is absolutely the most unselfish thing we can do. I can personally attest to the fact that I became nearly useless to the ones who needed me most by putting them first! It sounds backwards, but hindsight is 20/20 and I can see clearly how things could have gone very differently.
What did I gain from no self-care? The inability to sufficiently care for my family any longer. I simply could not get it together, act like an adult and do the important things. I was limping along, trying to just survive and make it through. It’s fair to say I was emotionally a disaster
Part of the reason I did not care for myself during those times is because I did not value myself. I literally could not see myself as important enough to pay attention to. But through that, God showed me how much He and my loved ones value me. Through the grief and trauma and overwhelming chaos, I have seen how things in my home fall to pieces when I’m a mess. I know now that being the best version of
Because I allowed everything to get completely out of control, from my
Yes, it took me hitting rock bottom, so to speak, in order to see my worth as a person, as a wife, as a mom and as a child of God. But I’m so glad I see it now and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. And I want to encourage you, if you are currently under stress or dealing with a life situation that is demanding all of you and you feel you have no time to care for yourself, please value yourself enough to put yourself first so that you can be the best, amazing wife, mama, employee or person you can possibly be!