Friday, January 14, 2011

Undoing myself or doing unto myself

Back to reality: days of marching to the schedules of others, finding the sugar secretly spilled and left behind the canister, cats who circle my feet waiting to be held and I, trying to hold off so I can breathe. No going to bed when I desire, waking, hitting the coffee, then the computer. No long spurts of uninterrupted creativity. Back to buying pounds of store-brand cheese, not exotic nibbles of whatever strikes my fancy.

I am acutely aware of how I let others influence my rhythm, pace and mood. I understand that I gave up the life of solitude when I married and bore children. What I have not realized until this recent week away and alone, is how completely I give myself away mothering, volunteering, freelancing and tending others so that there's nothing left for me. I know those in my circle of care would not want it that way.

So, existence for me – something richer than merely tolerable – lays in the balance of where and how I tend myself and others. With fibromyalgia, I have been so busy catering to my physical needs, I didn't seem to notice that others existed. Regular swimming and yoga, a vitamin-and-supplement regimen, Sunday worship, avoiding a host of foods and daily sinus dousing does not a complete life make. Yes they are things I must do to care for myself, but so is regular meditation, time in my studio, being in nature, basking in the sunshine in all seasons and writing daily. OK, I am an introvert, but have not articulated it until more recent years.

I re-learned that last week and it totally fed my soul. Interestingly without some of my physical necessities and eating foods I usually steer clear of, I experienced no pain. Two days home and it has returned.

Makes me do more than wonder; I need to change my life to work in things my soul requires before some of my other efforts. A few years ago, when looking at Jesus' words [and universally those of so many other traditions and cultures] to do unto others as you would do unto yourself, I realized I had practiced it backwards. "Do unto others before or better than you do unto yourself."As a mother and nurturer, that's the natural inclination.

I will do unto myself as I do unto others, which means I may come first occasionally. I know no one else will mind. It's myself that must grant the permission.

• Have I ever craved time away or for myself that I have not taken?
• Why not?
• If I have, how do I function solo?
• How is my rhythm or pattern altered?
• How do I incorporate that into my regular life?

the kids, the kids, the kids

yes, yes, yes

then exercise, so I may function for others

go, go, go
do, do, do


then start all over

wait a minute ...

I want more from life.

I desire to be fed, nurtured and truly alive
in my own right and just for myself

me, kids, exercise?
me, exercise, kids?
exercise, me, kids?

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