wide invitation to wake up and take steps to prioritize care for
I was missing a critical truth of being human. Parker J.
Palmer says it like this. “Self-care is never a selfish act-it is
simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was
put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self
and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves,
but for the many others whose lives we touch.”11
In my attempts to be super human, I worked and
busied myself into a state of both physical and emotional
inaccessibility. As I spent days laid up on a couch exhausted by
mono, writhing in pain, or recovering from double back
surgery, I had little to offer to my family or friends. Rather I
created a scenario that imposed a huge emotional and physical
drain upon my family. Sometimes things happen that are out
of our control, and everyone must adapt and dig deeper. This
was not one of those times. My personal choices and lack of
self-awareness lured me down a path toward ruin. I am grateful
that this painful wake-up call demanded my attention. Thus
began a journey that continues to this day.
As I recovered from back surgery, I began to take baby
steps toward healthy self-care. It was a multi-pronged
approach. Exercise, diet, mental health, and the exploration of
my own life giving pursuits all called for my attention. Exercise
became a priority as I more fully listened to the memo that my
broken back had delivered. Running was no longer a good
option, but walking and yoga called my name. I was convinced
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