Can you remember who took care of you when you were young? Do you remember HOW they did that? Many of us had busy, working parents. An overtired mom. A disengaged babysitter. A grandmother who yelled at us to hurry up because she would rather be watching her soaps. An absent father.
When people were irritated, exhausted, or burdened while they were running your bath, brushing your hair or otherwise caring for your child body, it's possible you internalized some of that dangerous messaging. "Taking care of you is a burden. Taking care of you is annoying. I'd rather be doing something else than taking care of you. I'm too busy and tired to do this properly so let's rush through it. I have more important things to do. Do it yourself even though you're not ready and I haven't taught you how."
If no one happily participated in what would become your self-care routine as a child, taught you how to care for your body, cherished you, sacrificed for you, delighted in you, it can be SO hard to take care of yourself as an adult woman.
You can literally hang up the phone after talking a friend off the ledge (because you're the light in the dark for so many people) and have nothing left for yourself. You can struggle with lotioning, teeth brushing, hair care, shaving, skin care, finding products that work for you, connecting to fragrances you enjoy, finding a form of exercise you really like doing, feeling good in your body, eating healthy foods, even looking in the mirror. It can feel taxing, boring, truly burdensome; a 4 step before bed skincare routine can inspire an even more dramatic sensation like RESENTMENT, bitterness, complete avoidance and even anger.
Here's what I know about this:
Mothers have an important role in teaching their daughters how to care for their bodies as they became women, but it was your father's job to reflect your value to you. His ability to do his job has no bearing on your inherent priceless value. And I do mean: INHERENT and PRICELESS. Perhaps you've been thinking that his ABILITY to do his job was a reflection of your value, that he reflected your value to you period. But he could only do his job to the extent that he healed from his own wounds.
Here's a quick example I love to use to illustrate just how preposterous it is that someone's behavior towards you is a reflection of your value. Imagine there is a priceless gem kept in a vault at a museum. A security guard falls asleep on the job and the gem is stolen. Does the museum president get on the six o'clock news and say oh well guess that gem must not have been worth anything after all. If the gem was real, that security guard would have been sitting up straight with his eyes wide open drinking red bull if he felt sleepy. His behavior has made us reconsider whether that gem was worthy of thousands of dollars we've invested in protecting it. He would have never let this happen to a real gem. We're going back over our pictures and the authenticity certificates. I think we were wrong about that gem and are now looking to return the money to all visitors who paid to see it. We at the museum are truly sorry to the people who wasted their time to see this fake. All that time we spent caring for it, cleaning it, safe guarding it has been a total waste.
No. You've never heard that in all your life. The security guard is fired and investigated as a suspect for the robbery. Because the gem's value is assured and increased. Now the museum is spending time energy and resources to go get the gem. The TV crews have come down. They've sent police and private investigators to go look for it. The museum knows the worth of the gem and never not one second ever falters.
Similarly, the behavior of the people who were responsible for caring for you, precious one, has never and will never ever have any bearing on your worth.
You have always been priceless.
You will always be worthy of the highest level of care and protection.
If your dad didn't show up to tell you and assure your soul of that unalienable truth, hear it now: you are priceless. You are lovable. It was his honor to stand guard over you and make sure you had a childhood. If he didn't, he missed out. You were great. Taking care of you was his soul responsibility and his honor.
Release the lie that taking care of you is heavy, burdensome, an irritation, too time consuming, that there are better things to do, that it costs too much money. Embrace the truth that taking care of you is light, is a delight, is an honor, and is an investment in your bright future.
Give yourself permission to find the scents and products you love, that work for you, that inspire you to look forward to taking care of yourself. No one wants to hurry to the bathroom to use a lotion you don't like, put on a face cream that ain't really doing nothin, and light a candle you feel meh about before a bath with no bubbles or oils or anything fun for you. You don’t have to like the gym. Find a way to move your body that make you feel good to be in it. Give yourself permission to be DELIGHTED in caring for yourself. I’ll share some of my favorites over the weekend.