Like many assertive, outspoken types, I am often so busy acting tough, crying out against the injustices in the world, and yelling out encouragement to my peeps that I forget to take a breath and look around my own little inner life and notice the accumulated dust and gunk –the dust of exhaustion and stress and the gunk of guilt and self-loathing. Not the “Girl, you are so fat and ugly” self-loathing (SL), but the SL for the intellectual set (the rules, the pressure, the accomplishment, the “shoulds”), which is much sneakier and deadlier.
We often stand on high with our flags in the air and lipstick on, with a smile and a smart argument. Our people are loved and fed, our boss thinks we’re doing great, and our parents are proud. We have the things and the people and the success, but we’re tired tired tired. We worry and fret and find it hard to relax.
It is at just such moments that one’s babysitter usually quits and one is forced to realize (yet again) the thin wobbly line between strong and weak or dry-eyed and sobbing.
The losses of everyday life keep us humble, but they are also proof positive that one needs more than toughness, hard work, and snark to get by. If we lack real reserves and our strength is only skin deep, it’s all just macho posturing.
So I’m taking a little pledge — to care for myself with a little more gentleness.. to treat myself like one of my girlfriends who is having a hard day. Just a bath, just a walk, just a private moment.
Just a little more love and patience…. and a few more quiet minutes each day to gather the bustling thoughts into a more manageable jumble. It would be a great honor if you’d join me….