With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side.Susan Weiss Berry
I was speaking with my friend Maggie recently, and the topic of Christmas came up. Maggie told me she hoped her husband would buy her the book she wanted as a gift. She was longing to read it.
‘Why not buy it for yourself?’ I asked her.
There was a long pause. ‘What?’ Maggie responded. ‘Buy my own book?’
‘Sure,’ I said. ‘You buy yourself other stuff. Why not buy yourself the book you want?’
She went quiet and then she looked me in the eye. ‘Because,’ she paused, ‘and this is dumb… if he really loved me he’d know I want that book.’
‘What if he doesn’t buy you the book? Then would you buy it for yourself?’
‘NO,’ Maggie shot back. ‘It’s too self-indulgent.’
This from a woman who works a sixty-hour week, and who is always there for her family and friends. A woman who regularly buys treats and gifts for others and thinks nothing of it. A woman who is independent and smart and strong ,and deeply loved by her family.
‘Do you wait for him to buy you flowers too?’ I asked, already knowing the answer. ‘You know you could buy yourself flowers. You could buy your own books. You could get yourself the things you like. It doesn’t mean your family don’t love you. And you know what? No-one would begrudge you. In fact, I’m sure no-one would even notice.’
Maggie started laughing. ‘Well, this has all gotten a bit revolutionary! Alright, I’ll buy my own damn book and my own damn flowers!’
She messaged me yesterday and sent me some photos. The book Maggie had wanted was nestled beside a beautiful bowl of spring blooms on the kitchen table. There was another small vase of flowers beside her bed. ‘Thank you,’ her text read. ‘Feels good! Why didn’t I do this years ago?’
I get it. Once, I was just like Maggie. I kept waiting for other people to notice my needs, but I never did anything about them for myself. Now? I practice better self-care, and part of that is making sure I am capable of meeting my own needs.
What can you do this weekend to meet your needs, to give yourself joy, to do or have something that is meaningful to you?
You’re worth it. Life’s short, and precious, so make the most of it!
Love, hugs, gardenias and Christmas books, Nicole xx