Karen Foley offers her perspective in Part 2 of our discussion on our relationships with ourselves!
Our relationship with ourselves is the most complicated and important relationship we have, yet we often give it almost no thought whatsoever. We are, after all, the person on the planet we spend the most time with. We are our first friend, our first lover, and our first enemy. We are often the only person in our lives who we will allow to abuse us and harm us and yet, we will do nothing about it.
Think about it? Would you ever allow anyone else to treat you the way you treat yourself? Would you allow anyone else to say the awful things you say to yourself, in your own head? Would you allow anyone else to put you down, make you feel worthless, the way you do so often?
Women are often the most guilty of this. We spend our lives taking care of others, often at the expense of our own health. We cook nutritious and loving meals for our children, yet allow ourselves to eat crap with the excuse that we are in a hurry, rushing out the door, with no time. If someone we love is sick, we encourage them to rest but never give ourselves the same advice. Instead, we continue on our crazy schedules, rushing through our day, somehow feeling that if we stopped to rest, to nurture our cold or catch up on our sleep, that we are being lazy, not accomplishing all we should be doing. We tell our friends they look beautiful, even if they have gained a few pounds or a few grey hairs, and we mean it because we love them and see their true beauty. Yet, when one of them compliments us, tells us we look nice today, we reject it, flat out, as if it’s impossible. We call ourselves fat, and ugly, and old, and stupid, in a way that if anyone else did would be out and out abusive. But we keep on doing it.
My buddy Jim keeps reminding me I’m not in control of anything! (He has a way of pointing out, just at the right time, the one thing you were trying so hard to ignore). This seems contrary to all we are told as modern women. Aren’t we supposed to claim our power, kick ass, and be all that we can be? Doesn’t that mean we need to seize control?
Yes, but what we need to remember is that the only person we can control, the only relationship in our lives we can control, is the one with ourselves. We have absolutely no control at all over the people around us, and actually, that is okay. I can’t control my partner, or my mother, or my adult children or my friends. This is actually incredibly freeing because as much as I love all of them, I don’t know what is best for them. They need to figure that out between themselves and their Higher Power. Success or fail, it is out of my hands, not my responsibility and actually none of my business. I have one person to control, me.
This frees up a lot of time! All those hours I spent worrying about this or that person, interfering, making phone calls, or trying to decide what was best for them, can now be spent on me! Suddenly I have time to cook that healthy meal for myself, do yoga, take a walk, make those long put off doctor’s appointments, enjoy a cup of tea and good book! I am not in control of the Universe. What a weight off my shoulders.
Now I can work on me, because, after all, wherever I go, there I am!
*Stay tuned for the next topic in relationships to be tackled by Karen & Jim, our relationships with our Higher Power and our need to live a life of purpose!