From some time now, I´ve been trying to go in depth into the almost impenetrable (to me) art of self-caring. Those can be stormy seas to me because I am prone to push into the background my true needs but am not able to set aside what must be done.
Rules, duties and responsibilities play an important role in my life. Service too, even when I haven´t even been aware of it till recently. And I am a perfectionist. Those things all together create a good teacher, a person oriented to help that can be very efficient, someone who finds easy be generous and compassionate and very difficult to focus her abilities on herself.
Along the last two years (since my mother and my brother started to be more dependent and I started to assume their care´s organization) I have come to accept that part of my destiny (my mission?) is being here for others. That´s why I have always supported them and that´s why I also love teaching, sharing what I know, explore new ways to help others to grow and so on, but I am just starting to make the most of the power of this gift (maybe because I have fully accepted it).
I have used my willpower, skills and self-discipline to keep active (and even to empower) my caregiver role in order to benefit other persons. However, along this year I haven´t felt like wanting to do that anymore, instead I have felt like wanting to give me the same kind of support I usually give them.
It has taken much to start to do it, I couldn´t even think that I could deserved the same devotion than they do deserve, but I was determined to give this new attitude a chance and now I am starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
After a whole life being in the background, starting to be in the foreground is hard. I have to make myself fall into this trap almost every single day. I have to persuade myself to be important to me and to make room for what I wish without feeling guilty, almost every single day, but little by little I am achieving some success.
Now I don´t get into my caregiver role unthinkingly when family, friend or students need me. I try to balance my behavior, and think of me first (something that sounds terrible to me) but I also try to enjoy when I decide to do it, no more regrets.
When this morning I saw this photo that I had processed a week ago or so, I knew it will make a wonderful Photo-Heart Connection this month. It conveys what I have been writing about: it shows me that all the kindness I have inside me and I direct towards others (even a simple fallen flower), can be directed also towards myself.
From now on I´ll do that... I promise.