Thursday, April 10, 2014

Reflection

. . . the art of bending back.

I don't like to look at myself in the mirror. I make myself do it when I'm doing my hair or makeup. It's unavoidable when I step out of the shower in the morning. Over time I've been forcing myself to look . . . really look at myself. For a long time all I could see were the negatives -- round cheeks, graying hair, a much rounder body. 

This month I designated as self-care month for me. I didn't create a lengthy to do list. Instead I've tried each morning to check in with myself and see what sounded like self-care for that day. The month isn't going exactly the way I imagined it would, but I am paying more attention to my wants and needs, and being a lot less strident with myself.

It's a month of reflection in many ways. I'm bending back into my old self. The one that existed before the abuse. The one who thought more about herself that what other people thought about her. I'm not calling it selfishness (although I would have in the past), but am rather reframing it at "as a valuable and necessary step in providing proper care to others" (Counseling Today January 2013). If I won't take care of myself, why should anyone else?

Yesterday I looked in the mirror longer than usual. I realized that, yes, I've gained weight and things aren't as taut as they once where, but that smile is still there and brighter than it was during the worst of things. I'm still me -- someone who cares a lot about how others feels. Someone who will go a long way to keep from hurting another person. Someone who likes to laugh out loud, and desperately wants to be accepted for who she is, warts and all. 

Because the first step in getting what I want is to offer it to myself. So I'm reflecting and bending back to take better care of me.

linking up
 with Writer's Workshop

4 comments:

  1. You are so not selfish for bending back to who you were before the abuse...what a difficult experience you have had! I pray for the Lord to show you how precious you are...that you would be okay with the fact that you will forever be changed -at least a little after having survived something so awful. I pray for your healing. I am a survivor of several kinds of abuse and I could not have done it without the love and care of God and friends. May you be surrounded by love!

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  2. We all need to bend back and take a good look at ourselves once in awhile. I hope this is bringing you much needed healing.

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  3. Taking care of yourself is so important - if we don't do that first, we can't do much else. I hope your month of self care is a great renewal for you.
    Visiting from Mama Kat's. :)

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  4. Yes, yes and yes! Taking care of yourself definitely is not a selfish thing to do. Even something as small as painting my nails can sometimes put that little happy bounce into my day. You deserve all the happiness in the world!

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