Sunday, May 21, 2017

How is your relaxation challenge going? I'm taking some slow turtle steps on my journey there. One thing I've been thinking about is how important self-care is in this process. And when I think of self-care, I think of wonderful Cheryl Richardson and her excellent book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care. I was browsing through it today and a couple of passages struck me that I thought I'd post here so I can come back to them and you might enjoy them, too. Hope so!

One of the harsh realities about practicing Extreme Self-Care is that you must learn to manage the anxiety that arises when other people are disappointed, angry, or hurt. And they will be. When you decide to break your patterns of self-sacrifice and deprivation, you'll need to start saying no, setting limits, and putting boundaries in place to protect your time, energy, and emotional needs. This poses a difficult challenge for any sensitive, caring person. Why? Because you will, for instance, disappoint a friend when you decide not to babysit her kids. Or you'll probably hurt your son's feelings when you tell him that he has to walk to his friend's house instead of always being chauffeured. Or you might anger your partner when you ask him to wash his own clothes. Because you'll be changing the rules of the game, certain individuals won't like it. But remember, if you want to live a meaningful life that also makes a difference in the lives of others, you need to make a difference in your own life first. That way your motivation is pure and without regret.

...[I]f you're going to disappoint people the right way, the idea is to tell the truth with respect and care, not manage their emotions. While you can't control how someone feels or how they react, you can control how you feel and how you choose to make your point. Don't measure your success by the response you receive. Measure it by how you feel once your anxiety disappears. Do you know in your heart that you made the right decision? Do you feel relieved? Are you pleased with the way you handled saying no? Are you glad you did it? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you've done the right thing for everyone involved.