by Janelle Holden
“Doug, can you give me some help over here?”
I gave my husband the-look. You know, the look? The one that says, “You’re in trouble, and if you don’t help me immediately you will regret it.”
“Huh?” he said. He was sitting at the kitchen counter, pleasantly chatting with his dad, oblivious to what I was doing.
“Forget it,” I muttered. “I’ll do it myself.”
I was standing in a strange kitchen, looking at two packages of frozen fish, a few potatoes, and a bag of frozen vegetables. I was exhausted and hungry after a long day of travel. We both were exhausted and hungry. At that moment, all I wanted in life was for someone to fix me dinner, to take care of me. The problem was, I was really the only person who knew exactly how to care for me. And I didn’t like it. So, I went to blame, and the easy excuse, “It’s his fault that I’m suffering right now.”
How blame gets in the way of self-care
Blame starts when we focus on what is lacking. And then we make what is lacking our excuse for not taking care of ourselves. When we can blame time, money, and other people, it’s much easier than just taking care of our own business and our own selves.
What does taking care of yourself look like? It starts with the fundamental belief that you are responsible for you. It means that you’re not dependent on someone else to create your happiness, your emotional well-being, or your physical well-being. It means that you own what you want and why you want it.
Freedom starts when you decide that you own every bite of food that you eat. You stop waiting for someone to take care of you, figure out what is ailing you, fix you, and then you decide you’re going to do it for yourself. You decide to take care of your own needs, whatever that looks like.
What happened next
After my internal hissy-fit, I noticed a basket of fruit sitting on the counter and realized how silly (and slightly passive-aggressive) I was being. I grabbed an apple and started to cut it up. I didn’t have to wait an hour until dinner was ready to eat. I could eat right now, and it was my responsibility to feed myself.
Meanwhile, Doug gave me a compassionate smile. “Would you like me to go to the store?”
“Yes,” I said with relief. “I would love something to go with our potatoes.”
He left with his father and I realized how much a slight shift in my mindset and noticing the abundance of food around me had done for me in that moment. Plus, I was no longer starving after eating the apple and could wait for dinner.
Three ingredients to proper self-care
- Give up blame for Lent (or for good). Whenever you blame someone else for your lack of health, stop yourself and notice the choice that you have available to you in the moment.
- Put your oxygen mask on first. Just like the airline flight attendant advises, taking care of your own health is your first priority and the health of others is your second priority because without your own health, you wouldn’t be able to take care of others.
- Discover abundance. Put your attention on what is abundantly available to you for your health, rather than what is lacking, and you’ll notice that your excuses melt away and self-care becomes easy.
Janelle Holden is president and founder of The Gluten-Free Life Coach, a company dedicated to helping people stop obsessing about food so that they can get on with the rest of their lives. To connect with Janelle and learn how to make that possible, send her an e-mail or schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted Call today just by clicking here.