This is the time of year where everyone is figuring out what they have accomplished, going over mistakes they made, and trying to figure out what’s the big goal for next year. There will be vision board parties, new year new me posts on IG, and think-pieces about what to bring into 2018 and what to leave behind in 2017. All of these have a purpose and a place. All of these have significance to someone.
Throughout the year I have tried to find ways to better myself. I have done this through many different modes -- therapy, exercise, diet, friendships, healing, writing, dancing, reading, studying, retreating, reinventing myself..all necessary. One thing I can say I haven’t done is mastered self-preservation. I have found many ways to stay afloat and to exist but I can be honest and say that I have neglected certain things about myself that I need to preserve.
Self-preservation is often tied to extreme things like death or just staying alive.Then there is the flip-side where it can be seen as a way to protect oneself from the outside world and societal/systemic schools of thought that can break a person down. Doing just enough to not end up hurt physically but what about the mind. The mind needs preservation too.
I had a good friend tell me that my “form of self-care was making sure others were doing self-care but what about me?”. Sometimes we can get into the cycles and rhythms of helping others preserve themselves and ignoring the glaring red flags in our mind that we need to preserve ourselves first.
How does this happen? I believe it stems from the need to feel needed, the desire to be wanted, the eagerness to make sure others are doing well. Nothing is wrong with this but in order to really be of service to others, we must first be of service to ourselves.
I had to ask myself the hard-hitting questions. “Are you happy?” “How do you feel physically vs mentally vs emotionally?” “When you wake up do you feel ready for the day?” Let’s just say the answers were not all “love and light” like one would expect. I spent most of my year so concerned with my presentation that I didn’t take time to work on my preservation.
Because of this, I got sick, a lot, and none of my remedies were working as well or as quickly. My lack of mental preservation impacted my physical body. So, I had to do some digging. I had to figure out what I needed to do in order to preserve myself.
I had to first realize that my lack of care for myself was going to kill me and that I really have a lot of work to do in the “attempting to live for others and be perfect” department. Shit can be so toxic and foolish. This I know. I had to secondly realize that the more I ignored the signs of letting go of things the more difficult it would be to really be open to my blessings. And lastly….I had to quit my job.
From here I am not sure of a lot of things but the one thing I am sure of...is my decisions. I know that in order for me to continue to shine I cannot present instead of preserving. I cannot tell others to shine their light if I continue to let my own light dim when I feel weak or scared. This isn’t an empowerment piece, it’s a redirection piece. Shit, we all have moments where we forget how to take care of ourselves. This was my moment of many.
New year new me? Nope. New year, same me, better observation of self, less presenting for others, and grave preservation of self as a WHOLE.
How do you plan to preserve yourself moving forward?