When I Had Given My All…Even MYSELF

I remember the moment like it was yesterday, I woke to get my day started when I was stopped in my tracks by this gold band sitting on top of the dresser.  I had to do a double-take to ensure I saw what I saw and to let the reality sink in that my husband had outwardly placed his wedding band on our dresser, specifically for me to see! Now, you might say, so what. However, we were not the couple who frequently removed our wedding rings, so this was a statement. Now, let me back up and give you some history. For months we had been having discussions on happiness….who wasn’t happy, why we weren’t happy and what we were going to do about it. DIVORCE was a word that came up frequently, but I had decided that wasn’t going to work for me and I believed we could work things out.  Well, what you want and what you get is not always the same. So, this wedding ring, strategically placed, was a sign to say, “I’m OUT”.  At that moment, a ton of emotions ran through my head.  However, the most potent thing was, “I Know He Didn’t”. I could not believe that someone that I have given my ALL too, could just easily throw it away. As women we give ourselves away to the people we love without question and when they decide they are done we are PISSED. This time I wanted to unpack that PISSosity that I was feeling because as the saying goes, I don’t want you if you don’t want me.  It took me some time to realize, but one of the reasons I was so pissed off was the fact that I had given him everything, even MYSELF.  I realized I didn’t leave anything for ME. I was suffering from flawed thinking. I thought if I was giving love and taking care of everyone else, someone would be taking care of me.  Flawed Thinking!  As women, when we talk about self-care we look at it as a luxury.  It’s the last thing on our priority list. We give and give and give some more to our children, our significant others, our jobs, you name it, we put them first. And when they disappoint us it makes the pain even worst.

Fast forward 5 years, I am in a different place and one of the key things that got me there is the understanding that I come FIRST.  I’m not talking about stealing five minutes to catch your breath or taking a bubble or even ensuring you have yourself set up on monthly massages (which I do all of those by the way), but I believe the essence and foundation of self-care is knowing and loving yourself FIRST, which allows you to create boundaries in your life to protect your peace and your energy. You are important, it’s time to wake up and understand that taking care of ourselves is not an option, but it is a NECESSITY.  Today, I challenge you to think about who you giving your life to and what you are giving to yourself. Are you first or are you last on your priority list? I’m not saying that our kids, significant others, or jobs are not important, but if all those things didn’t exist there would still be YOU. Do something that puts you first on the list and DON’T WAIT. We are responsible for taking care of ourselves.  Remember, Self-Care Ain’t Selfish, it’s REQUIRED.