You are for You.
I say this all the time. I believe these words. I am finding that Life continues to bring new lessons around that help me grasp them on a deeper and more meaningful level.
But sometimes Life brings the same lessons around, and I marvel at how easy it is to fall into the same old patterns.
Like living my life for others.
Trying to hold their energy in addition to my own. Giving my oxygen away so someone else can breathe. All while my own life force grows shallow and raspy.
I had a thought that started this week out, as I was staring at an overly full schedule and feeling the traces of stress begin to weave their way through my body. It was very simple. Very profound. It came on a molecular level as my cells softly spoke their truth.
You are killing yourself.
It got my attention. I had a little Christmas Carol moment as the ghosts of my past, present, and future convened and gave me a broad perspective on how I tend to relate to life. Soaking up everybody’s energy. Changing and shifting to meet needs. Not honoring myself with adequate space to tend my own.
Failing to keep myself balanced and centered so I assure I am interacting with this world from a space of active grounded truth- that creates a sense of intention, integrity, and conscious choice in my life- as opposed to feeling confused, pulled, obligated.
As I took a good look at myself, I could see a spirit growing more and more malnourished from lack of restorative time and tender care. And whether symptoms start to manifest in my physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, or all of the above; I could easily see the path before me where deterioration brought on by my own inability to say no, to take deep breaths and oxygenate myself, was going to catch up. And cause great harm.
When YOU give yourself a message, on such a visceral, fundamental level… well I think it best to take a deep breath, listen closely, and be prepared to heed your voice.
A change has gotta come.
I wrote a poem earlier this year called Green Lights where I penned the line “It was the year I realized what it meant to love men, for whom I would swim channels, who wouldn’t jump in a pool for me.” I thought about this poem a lot this week, on a far larger scope than just romantic relationships, but as a metaphor for how I often relate to the world. How I have a tendency to invest and empty myself into people, places, and things that do not give me a return on my investment.
I end up in situations that leave me filling drained and purged of the best parts of myself, while I try and scrape the remaining dregs together into something that resembles a whole. Then I try and pass it off as a fresh, full cup of coffee.
I am finding Life does not work this way.
Yet all too often we bargain with Life as it though it does. Pouring ourselves into people, places, situations that rob us of our precious life force. We expect to be filled back up and are slow to realize the pouring isn’t coming.
Our spirits starve for real nurture and care, and we deny ourselves. Because it seems selfish, we may not know how, we may struggle to give ourselves permission to be for ourselves. Because it’s easy to get stuck. The nature of the beast we know is more familiar and comfortable than the beast that is change.
We forget that letting go is more important than holding on. That the longer we hold on, the more we prevent Life from bringing us new possibilities. There is little room for fresh perspectives, new energy, and healing change when we keep our mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychic space crammed with the the holding ons, the lack of real nurture, the familiar beasts.
It is a slow death to self, I think. A soft kill when we stay trapped in situations that do not serve us, that drain away our best parts.
That was the message my cells were heralding at the start of this week. This slow death of self, this reminder that part of me was going to pay. That I would become lesser, paler, smaller if I stayed on my current path. I am tired of scraping my dregs together and calling it a full cup.
A change is gonna come.
It starts within. Life meets us there. We must release in order to create new space.
I had a good talk with myself this week. Regarding change. Regarding taking responsibility for my life. Regarding recognizing the fundamental need to care for and love myself so I can be my best, fullest self. And then trusting all other endeavors to flow from there.
I imagined a life where I tend to myself in such a way that I cherish my need to be filled. Where I continue to find beautiful sacraments which fill my cup. Where I pour into myself so abundantly I overflow and cheerfully pass out extra coffee to those who need a cup of warmth and joy. It is a vision drenched in compassion and connection for others.
Most importantly it is a vision drenched in compassion and connection for myself.
A recognition that breathing my own oxygen allows me to give more freely from an open space and not an atmosphere choked with thin air and short gasps.
What are you doing my sweet girl… Who are you going to be in this world my dear one… Who are you here for my darling…
When are you going to finally be for yourself?
The answer rings out loud and clear.
You are for You.