As previously stated, I’m taking a free online course: Creative Heart Healers. It’s a five-day course that’s so introspective it’s taking me weeks to complete it. But I’m not in any hurry. If I want to become committed to self-care, it’s going to take some time to shift and jettison my mental and emotional roadblocks (of which there are many and varied and firmly-rooted).
I started Day Two on 23 Nov, right after I finished Day One. The assignment was to write a sort of Cons and Pros list—easy! or so I thought.
Wow, I haven’t had an unbalance like that in a long time. I ran headlong into a toddler inside my psyche shouting, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!” and implying, “You can’t make me.”
Boy, was she ever right. As they say in child rearing, you have to pick your battles. This one was no contest. I admitted defeat and only asked for whatchamacallit. Leniency? Diplomatic immunity? Sleep.
“Huh-uh, no sir, no way, no how. See ya!” And we sat up all night together.
It took a while before I wanted to get in line for the Fiery Furnace Ride again, but I could feel it coming. For instance, I took the time to persuade myself to draw and paint a picture this week.
And tonight I sat down to rewrite my Pros and Cons list (except it’s more an Old and New way of thinking list). I have to say, Claire is excellent; just what my doctor would have ordered if he was savvy. She says things in just the right way for me, really gets me thinking. I write down a lot of what she says in the written lesson as well as from the videos. She’s my guide, my you-can-do-this-er (guru?). She got me and myself together tonight and helped us communicate with each other. I began writing . . . pages.
My objections to self-care, or “My Current Mindsets,” had a common thread, summed up thus: Sue last; everyone, everything, and anything else first. (I even put off pursuing my current interests because of future events that might or might not require my participation. It’s good to be responsible and dependable, but I’m taking it too far. Which makes me wonder, “Am I trying to get out of something?”)
Since this was a particularly vigorous ignore-my-personal-needs week, I’m totally depleted right now. I’m so tired and so depressed I can’t even sleep.
But I resist change. I know this about myself. (Still trying to control the future?) Gently guiding kinds of phrases are much more acceptable than “This will change your life.” (Eek! I don’t want my life changed because of one little list I wrote.) “Cultivate a desire . . .” Elder Neal A. Maxwell talked about educating our desires; it was welcome information then, and still is now.
So that’s where I began: “Cultivate a desire to care for my needs.” By so doing I would be showing gratitude and developing charity. OK, spiritual justification for doing self-care—check. (I take a bit of convincing if I want me to change. Have to appeal to my inner Council: “This will help me be a better person.”)
When I read Claire’s phrase about taking time to enjoy my life, I wrote that down. I haven’t been fully enjoying my life. I’ve had a lot of lower-level happiness (though it pains me to call serving others “low-level;” I only mean to say there are higher levels of joy. Sometimes service brings me psuedo-happiness because after I’ve done it and experienced the immense satisfaction of a job well done, I start expecting some kind of reward or appreciation; that kind of expectation twists all the joy out of a thing.)
I was having a really good time on this last page, coloring in the illustrations, letting my thoughts gel (which is a careful sidestep around the word “set”). One of my personal mottoes comes from the scriptures, “Sue for peace.” I decided to amend it to fit my current situation: Sue for life—an enjoyable life. Because if I don’t enjoy it, it will be wasted—no one else will get joy out of living my life.
Now, on to Day Three. What are the chances it will take me only one day???