As women and especially us mothers, we tend to take care of everyone else and stop loving on ourselves. Peace and quiet is longed for, but very rarely prioritized.
A few years ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors gave him 6 months to live. I was devastated; I desperately needed far more than 6 months. I am the second oldest of 16 grandchildren and my grandfather was not just my hero, he was also my biggest cheerleader. He always knew how to lift my spirits and constantly reminded me of the badass woman I am. Whenever I was feeling low or doubting myself, he's the person I would call.
I was able to make two trips to visit him prior to his passing. The first visit was great, he was still feeling well and in good spirits. The second started off good, but he quickly deteriorated. By the time we left, he was incoherent. There is nothing more painful than watching someone you love melt away. I searched and searched for the words to express to him the impact he had on my life, but there are no words to convey that level of gratitude. All I could muster up was thank you and I love you, but I knew he understood what I was trying to say. He passed a couple days after we left.
I've lost a lot of people I loved dearly, 10 major losses in 10 years to be exact, but the loss of my grandfather was monumental. I did what us high-achievers and type A personalities typically do...I buried myself in work and anything else that would keep me "busy" so I wouldn't have to face the reality.
A few months after his passing, I was getting a massage and had a complete breakdown, ugly snot crying and all. UGH, that poor massage therapist! Here's the reality, I had not allowed myself any down time to process the grief and feel all the feels. I had just stuffed it down and kept busy hoping it would go away; that is until the day the dam broke. You can only mask the pain for so long.
I know this is an extreme example, but what are you not allowing yourself to feel, what are you keeping busy to avoid, when is the last time you had a quiet moment to process your own thoughts and feelings?
This week, I challenge you to take some time for you. Whether it be a massage or spa day, reading a book, take a long, hot bath with your favorite cocktail, or just taking a walk outside by yourself. We cannot serve from an empty cup; the more we neglect ourselves, the more our loved ones are missing out on the happy, authentic and wonderful human beings we are. <3
Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. ~ Eleanor Brown
Here's to another week of living your life by design, not by default!