“Self-Care means never pouring from an empty cup.”
-Coral, Founder & CEO of Reimagine Healing
Have you heard this phrase before? I wouldn’t be surprised if you have. It is a vital part of life that many do not take seriously and some even feel they cannot afford it. Cancer parents (as I am one) are especially prone to suffer this deficiency. As they care for their warrior child, it is all too easy for them to put themselves on the back burner… if on the stove at all. Self-care does not have to be an added expense. It does not have to mean a day at the spa or a trip to the Mexican Riviera. It can be as simple as giving yourself 10 minutes to read a few pages in a book you’ve been wanting to read. It can be allowing yourself the time to take a longer shower and actually blow dry your hair instead of throwing it up in a ponytail still dripping wet. It can also be as simple as choosing the bigger cup of coffee (whether at home or at your favorite coffee spot). Self-care is all about yourSELF. It doesn’t mean you forget about your responsibilities… it means that you make yourself a priority. Afterall, if you are not healthy, how in the world can you successfully continue to care for your child?
For my fellow cancer parents, community is a key element of self-care. If you are in need of a community, please reach out to Reimagine Healing and get plugged in. To be around like-lifed people is extremely powerful and encouraging. The simple acknowledgement from those who get it goes a long way and knowing you are not alone can be just the thing you need to make it through the next fifteen minutes.
Today is Thanksgiving. On this day American culture would have you believe you have to create the most Pinterest-worthy environment for as many people as could walk through your home between the hours of 1-8pm. The pictures show a perfectly roasted turkey with all the trimmings, large numbers of people with smiles on their faces and mugs of hot beverages in their hands. Sweaters, scarfs, and all things fall - pumpkins, gourds, maple leaves, twiggy trees, apples, cloves, etc.
Is this picture acceptable? Certainly, if you are the kind of person that loves cultivating it, nurturing it, preparing it, cleaning up after it.
But what if you're not that person? Is there still space for you this day? Yes, yes there is. How do I know? Because I am this person... the person who does not thrive in the Thanksgiving chaos, despite being an extrovert. Hospitality, as pictured in the William Sonoma catalog, is not a gift I possess. I love having people over, in small numbers, so that I can spend intentional time with them. I love encouraging people to kick off their shoes, snuggle up on my couch, and invite them to partake of the refrigerator rights they obtain just by walking through my front door. I love to focus my attention on the person instead of multi-tasking and giving them less than my full attention.
The images below are not intended for comparison... they are meant to show two very different ways of celebrating a day geared toward thankfulness.
Gratitude isn't about keeping up with the Joneses. It is the posture of surveying what you have, Pinterest fails and all, and still finding something to be grateful for. Gratitude walks hand in hand with perspective.
So, if you are a Pinterest-perfect person, be grateful for the artfulness you embody and the way you can share beauty with others.
If you a Pineterst-fail person, like me, be grateful that your worth is not found in your artistic abilities.
There is no one right way to do Thanksgiving. Your way is just fine. Do not spend one moment comparing yourself or your decor to another... that is apples to oranges and serves no one well.
All people, be grateful for what you have. Not only because there is always someone else dreaming, praying, wishing for you have but because a grateful heart will have joy and not merely fleeting happiness.
1 Thessalonions 5:18
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