One of the hardest things for some people to do is to learn how to nurture themselves. This is especially true if you are a person who is prone to being a caregiver. There is nothing wrong with being a caregiver just as long as you do not forget to care for yourself in the process.
Sandra was 47 years old when she began to get sick a lot. She was always feeling run-down and fatigued. She found herself depressed most of the time. When she sought help, she discovered that her problems were the result of a lack of self-nurturing. She was so busy giving to her family, her friends, and her community that she never had the time or energy to give anything to herself. Eventually she became so depleted that she had nothing left to give to anyone else either, which was the source of her depression.
This was a life-changing event in Sandra’s life. Learning to care for and nurture herself was difficult in the beginning. She was consumed with guilt. The first time she said “no” to a friend’s request for help with a project, she cried. The first time she chose to attend an art class and let her husband help the children with their homework, she felt like a horrible mother. As time passed, however, Sandra found that she was feeling happier. She found that helping others no longer seemed like a chore. She also found that the world did not stop if she said the word “no” to someone. Not only did they continue to love her, they also came to respect her in a different way.
Take a look at your own life. Are you being kind and nurturing to yourself? What do you enjoy doing? Do you ever do it? Do you say “yes” to people when you really want to say “no”, and then feel resentful about it later? How you answer these questions will reveal how well you are taking care of yourself.
Take the time to love yourself. Until you love yourself, you will never be able to truly love others. Until you learn to give to yourself, you will never have anything to share with others. You need to learn to replenish within yourself that which you have given. This way you will never be depleted.
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