Our world is becoming increasingly busy and demanding. With so much going on all the time, it seems so easy to get sucked into all that is happening on the outside of us. We get sucked into our Social Media feeds for hours, we can’t miss what is going on during the next episode of our favorite show, our jobs require us to work longer more intense hours, our kids need our attention in all their matters, and all the while the world seems to be falling to pieces.
With so much going on, who has the time to pay attention to their own needs?
Unless our parents showed us by example, there are no classes in school that teach us that taking ourselves into consideration on a daily basis is a desired way of living.
So many times I have found myself standing in front of the mirror in the morning, getting ready for the day by putting make up on and only when I am sitting at the breakfast table d I realize that I did not even look at myself in the mirror. There was no recognition of the person staring back at me. All I saw were eyelashes to put make up on, while my thoughts were forming a task list of what needed to be accomplished that day. I went through a routine, without even taking a moment to acknowledge myself as a person.
This also used to be true, when I would be sitting at my job working away on always overdue tasks that needed my attention. I would sit at my desk for hours at a time, staring at my screen in hopes of catching up on the list that, no matter what I did, always seemed to be growing longer. Only, when I found myself on the brink of exhaustion or with a huge headache, would I realize that I had forgotten to get up, get myself a drink or feed my body a nutritious meal. There just didn’t seem to be time for myself to do that.
I wish I could say that there was a huge turning point for me and that I am now able to always see myself and pay attention to my needs. But if something isn’t inherent in the habits we have acquired over a long time, it takes commitment to make a change.
What has changed is that I started to ask myself, what value I am bringing to the world by being so task oriented. Could I truly say that I had the pleasure of completing those tasks or where they just a check mark on a list, with no deeper feelings attached to them? Would I add them to my list of the things I am most proud of at the end of my life? Where they a stepping stone to that?
I wondered, how I could be my own rock to lean on in any situation that I walked into. I imagined it like being the best friend we have, who we would recognize even in the largest of crowds. We don’t even need to know that the friend is at the party, but the moment we step in we feel the friend’s comforting energy and look around to find her.
I don’t think seeing ourselves for who we are and congratulating us for being awesome has to be the way advertisement is trying to sell us self-love. It is not about adding guilt and yet another task to our list that we can check off on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong with making ourselves look good on the outside, to give ourselves a wink and a “you are rocking it girl” smile. But even that outer appearance can only work, if we allow ourselves to let it resonate with our inner feelings.
What is more important is that we give ourselves the permission and split second times each day to check in with us. Just like a child, who explores the world and in between intense periods of play, returns back to the mother to check in and see that everything is still okay and safe, we need to check in with ourselves. When we make big decisions, taking a moment to checking in and seeing how this feels in our body. Listening for signs and learning to distinguish between the fears of the unknown and the gut feeling that something just isn’t adding up right.
It is those moments of checking in that will make us our most confident self. Touching base with our felt sense about the actions we subject ourselves to on a daily basis, builds trust with the person we are.
It is only, when we allow ourselves to check-in that we can determine if we are on track with being the person we dream of being or if we need to correct our course.
As scary as that can seem, if it also a huge empowerment to realize that when we trust ourselves all the answers can be found inside of us.
We don’t need any products, shows, jobs, or other outside influences to reveal to us who we are.