Is your self-care practice a must or a bust? Does it happen no matter what or only if you have time? Many years ago, I had a moment of clarity. A moment that changed how I thought about fibromyalgia, chronic illness, and my ability to heal. Or, should I say opportunity?
Healing and recovery can’t happen without an open door. When opportunity happens, it takes interest to enter.
No, you don’t have to know how to heal. You don’t have to know what to do. All you need is a sense of curiosity about what could happen “if.” If you took that step. If you tried something new. If you kept an open mind for opportunities.
Opportunities come when we make self-care a must.
Opportunity for Self-Care
Many, many years ago, I had an experience that I can still vividly recall to this day. Funny how little things can become what I call Pivot Points for later healing and learning.
This specific moment of clarity happened during a weekly tai chi class. I was practicing a qigong move called Hands Like Clouds and I felt a sense of inner peace that surprised me. I felt my stomach un-clench. I felt a sense of contentment for that moment in time. A sense of letting go.
This was all completely new to me.
I could clearly see what my life was like before I became “sick.” I could objectively view how I ran from one stressed out moment to the next. I constantly worried about my children, work projects, finances, caring for my home, and much more.
I rarely sat down to enjoy meals. Instead, I grabbed what was handy and headed out the door. There wasn’t enough time to get everything done, so I took shortcuts wherever I could find them. Mostly, I cut out what seemed expendable to me – sleep. I went to bed late and got up early.
I tried to please everyone else, but my own wants and desires were nowhere in the mix. I wanted to do it all, but oddly, I never felt as if I were doing enough.
If I Could Do It All Over
As I was thinking back on all of this frenetic behavior, it all looked so clear to me. I understood that … if I could do it all over again, I’d make the time to take better care of myself.
My next thought was, why not start now?
Next up in the last of this 4-part series, we’ll take a look at the set-up of self-care. How do you make it a priority for you?
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out previous posts in this series:
Part 1: Chronic Symptoms and Self-Care
Part 2: Self-Care Results
Have you had any moments of clarity when it comes to your own healing and recovery process? Share your stories below!