I was working today at my friend's Oriental Medicine wellness center and had an interesting conversation with one of his clients.
She is a very accomplished attorney in her mid 30's. She is a beautiful woman with a full life and a modern woman's ambition. The typical "All work and minimal play" syndrome that is destroying the health of this country, especially woman. There is a reason that heart disease not cancer is the #1 killer of woman in this country.
She is coming to the wellness center to receive treatment for fibroid tumors. An unhappy condition which affects 4 out 5 African American, but that is a topic for a different blog.
She is worried because, she has come to a crossroad in her life and is struggling with the realization that she cannot be superwoman and live a truly healthy and fulfilling life. She wants to have a baby and is worried that her time may have passed to enjoy the miracle of motherhood. She feels like her body has begun to betray her and the fibroids may destroy her chances of becoming a mother.
I reassured her that the fibroids can and will be a thing of the past if she continues to follow her treatment plan. A plan that thankfully is all natural and surgery free. I told her that the fibroids are her body's way of saying "slow down" and pay attention to me. And her chances of becoming a mom are not an impossibility. She felt better knowing that she was on the right path.
I started thinking, as women, we can get so caught up in life... i.e. work deadlines, family responsibilities, etc. That we forget to pay attention to our needs. I told her. Woman are trained almost from birth to give... then give some more... and then once you think you have nothing left. We are expected to dig even deeper. The phrase "Give Til It Hurts", is a phrase that describes most women's lives.
We keep overextending ourselves until our poor bodies just give out. Then, instead of slowing down to recharge or deal with the situation. We ignore what is going on until we wind up visiting a health care professional trying to figure out what is wrong. The problem is the traditional doctors and medication can only deal with the symptoms. They cannot treat the cause.
I shared with her a simple truth... It all starts with learning how to appreciate and love yourself. Our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health are our responsibility. People and situations may frustrate us, but it is how we choose to handle life that determines the outcome.
People will treat you the way you treat yourself. If you neglect your needs they will too. If you treat yourself with self-respect. Others will treat you with respect as well. I could go on forever with examples, but the point I am trying to make is. We have choices about how we live our life. We cannot be everything to everyone.
Plus, think about this... Before you can fill someone else's proverbial cup. You must be sure your "pitcher" is full. So, ask yourself... Is your "pitcher" empty or full? If you are sitting there empty. Take a moment to think about something special you can do just for you. Something that will cheer you up, make you feel special, and put a smile back on your face.
Be a little selfish every now and then. You deserve it. Plus, your peace of mind and health depend on it.