love thyself

sisters, incline thine ear to hear what thus saith this SBF.  that knot in your shoulder is not because your purse is too heavy (although it probably is) that gnarled up mass of muscle is a message: make time for you.

our daily lives are riddled with demands and requests from the moment we wake up until we lie down.  your manager interrupts your coffee prep because he cannot find the presentation you sent him at 2am.  you return home after an hour in traffic and your mailbox is overflowing with candidates asking for your vote. you wonder, who the hell is this person and what are we voting for now? you check your personal email and mixed in with the bath and body works coupons are three gofundme requests and another asking you to sponsor a missionary.  you can’t even escape the check-out line without a request to donate $1 to the march of dimes, susan g komen, or the american heart association.  at every turn a hand is extended, not in service but in solicitation. for what may be the first time, or the first time in more sun-ups and sundowns than you can count, allow that hand in your face to pull you to a standing position, walk to the nearest mirror, and decide to choose you.

my dear sista-friend buys herself flowers, makes tagine, sets a table for one, and celebrates herself. she isn’t seeking attention, recognition, or approval from anyone. her quiet method of self-love speaks loudly in a world filled with expectations.

in what we think are moments of solitude, the hamsters are outpacing each other on the wheels of our mind. we are solving a complex system of equations like good will hunting:

if she stopped paying for that storage unit, she could get her car fixed.
i guess he knows that cataracts and night driving are a recipe for vehicular manslaughter.
she’s wasteful and hard-headed and if she had listened she wouldn’t be in this mess.  

we spend hours ruminating over foolishness, unpacking and repacking other folks issues, while our own remain shelved, untouched. we believe we are offering a listening ear, being a good friend, or a helpful colleague but really we are the repository into which they empty their trash. by the end of the day our shoulders are bowed under the weight of other folks burdens, in addition to our own.

the only person who can offload that backpack filled with worry and concerns, is you.  it’s ok to focus on your needs, to put yourself first.  sometimes we ask for what we need when the right action is to take what we need:  a break, a vacation, a mental health day.  so, sit down, exhale, shake up some jiffy pop, and love thyself. you have my permission.


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