Exactly What You Need

Do you know exactly who you are?

This was asked at a summit a friend of mine attended. The audience was asked – do you know? And you might say: I’m a girlfriend, or a mother, or an employee, or a sister. You might refer to yourself as a bus driver, or a dentist, or a stay-at-home Mom. But this isn’t who you are. It’s what you are.

Who you are is someone deserving.

Somewhere along the line, we stop considering ourselves as people who are worth as much attention as the people we pay attention to. Our families. Our partners. Our employers. Our friends. Our loved ones. Can you imagine if you spent as much time on yourself as you did on finding that exact gift she wanted for Christmas that year? The effort you gave combing the stores, the online shopping, the waiting in line for the right and perfect gift? What if you gave yourself the same opportunity to flourish.

And when did we get weaker on the value of what we did give to ourselves?

Oh, I’ll take the day off, she said. That will be good for self-care, as she checks her messages and returns the emails, and puts away the dishes, and makes plans for lunch next week with a co-worker, and finds the address for that BBQ they’re having for that person’s baby shower, as she hums through hanging their towels back up over the deck rail.

No.

What exactly do you need?

Is it trite to say something more? Does it feel wrong to say, what I’m giving myself is not enough to make me happy. Doesn’t it feel – gasp – selfish to want to spend time on only you? Aren’t we supposed to give ourselves to others, and causes, and work?

You’re no good to anyone if you’re not good to yourself first, right? That’s what they say. Expunging your mental and emotional energy on those around you, leaving nothing in the bank for your personal wellness serves no one if you choose martyrdom over balance. You must think of you as part of the bigger puzzle and picture. To walk away from burning out, over-exerting, and allowing the noise to penetrate your spirit through breaking down over time.

You can choose to go to bed early, opt out of that gathering, take another day to do the laundry, buy your meal through the drive-thru, spend time at the spa/salon/massage clinic and do it without guilt, or sin.

Do you know exactly what you need?

In the days, weeks, and now months since I hopped up on the scale at both the gym and in my mind, I have been wearing the weight of self-loathing both physically, and emotionally. For over a year, I have condemned myself for packing on the pounds, and fighting with the mirror and my waist line. I have wrestled with my self-worth, and made strides in my continuation of being confident. I still colour my hair, and jazz up my eyes, and shop in stores that I love. But I don’t make peace with my size, I merely shake hands with it and agree to disagree. Me and my weight are at odds with one another. But we make do for the better good. The good of my sanity.

I made a conscious decision to visit a weight loss studio. My appointment is this afternoon. I’ve been toying with it for several years, dating back to my time in Kitchener. And finally, I’ve conceded. I spoke with Jan, and through his incredible support, I’m headed off to see what this could mean for me and for what I hope to achieve. Am I cognizant that people will have opinion? They do, regardless. But what I’m aiming to do but revealing my intent is to keep myself authentic. Should this work, and should I maintain what I learn and the habits I develop – I hope to continue being transparent. And just like when I went after quitting smoking, or Keto, or working out, or intermittent fasting, or blood work, or chem work, or whatever else I’ve done over the last year, I’m very aware I’m inviting a heap of conversation. I read all your messages – whether I agree, or don’t. Take faith in that. And even if you don’t support this option, please remember that my weight does matter because I have severe sleep apnea and my literal health hinges on losing weight.

I’ll not post my before photo from last night. Maybe I will if there is progress to be made. I’m not that confident yet.

— c ☆

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