And why it’s so important.
I remember when I was a kid, my mother used to drive around with her car windshield so dirty you could hardly see out of it. Sometimes I cleaned it for her, but I didn’t understand why she didn’t clean it herself. She could have; she just hardly ever did.
She wore clothes with stains on them, and pantyhose with holes.
She let my father condescend to her and blame her for things that weren’t her fault.
As a child, I never understood why she did these things. I wanted to tell her she deserved better.
Now that I’m an adult, I see myself doing so many similar things. I make promises to myself about taking care of my space and myself — and then I break those promises, sometimes the very next day.
In some cases, I know exactly what I need to do to be healthier and happier — and yet I sit there not doing it.
It’s so maddening! I want to do better, but there seems to be some force inside me that wants me to fail!
Why? Why is it so hard to take good care of ourselves?
Here’s what I’ve discovered.
#1: We think self-care isn’t that important.
Our bodies and souls seem pretty resilient. We can neglect ourselves for a long time and keep chugging along.
Or treat ourselves like an entertainment center with a trashcan in the middle, and we seem to be able to do that with impunity.
We don’t realize the toll it’s taking.
Every little choice and action does have effects. We’re just so deep into pain and neglect already, that the incremental additions to it hardly even register — until they add up and become obvious.
Or we just don’t make the connection between our choices and their results.
And we don’t realize what we’re losing, and missing out on, when we neglect our own health, healing, and growth.
I think if a person could experience five seconds of what they have the potential to be and feel — what they could have, with good self-care — they would have endless motivation after that.