That’s the word intuitive coach Jennifer Munley gifted me yesterday.
The idea that you have the choice between being careful and careless with yourself – your feelings, your boundaries, your health, and your thoughts.
Although some people might need more explanation and examples, I immediately felt what she meant.
Because I’ve spent decades being careless with myself and others:
– Journeying into relationships I knew weren’t supportive.
– Staying in relationships that weren’t nourishing.
– Pushing myself to do & be more from a place of fear that I wasn’t enough.
– Insisting on my needs and concerns instead of opening to & respecting others.
The first time I felt empowered was remarkable.
Standing up for myself in a joyful, honoring way felt like I stepped in front of a baby to protect it from harm.
In many ways I suppose I was.
Because we all have an inner vulnerable side that, like a child, deserves protection, comfort, and care.
But most of us railroad over our core human softness, wishing it wasn’t there and we were strong like everyone else seems to be.
If you’re like me and somehow missed the lesson on self-respect growing up, you might not know how to put yourself first and be a decent person at the same time.
Instead you might get caught in the whiplash between insecurity and arrogance – swinging between hiding out and defending against, just trying to find the middle ground of confidence and connection.
When you care for yourself – not in the sense of bubble baths and manicures (unless that’s you’re way of caring) – you recognize that there’s something within you worth honoring.
You treat yourself like you would an innocent, helpless animal or child.
You stand up for your right to be free, playful, safe, and innocent.
But most of us don’t believe we’re worthy of such care because on a deep level, we don’t believe we’re innocent.
We’re holding a grudge against ourselves for all the times we failed to be better. For all the times we tarnished our own image of ourselves and couldn’t let it go.
This is why acceptance, self-love, and forgiveness get tossed around in the self-help world like buzzwords during election season.
These are the keys to your personal salvation – your individual home-coming to care, affection, and confidence.
So consider how you can be careful with yourself today. When you stumble upon an example of being careless, ask yourself if you can let is slide and forgive yourself just this once.
Because you – above all others – deserve your own love.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!