Calming the Selfish-Bitch Voices
Self-care is a tool that fosters awareness, balance, and the ability to be attuned to what we need. For instance, a mom named Paula, who had been working on this for awhile in one of my workshops, came in one day with a bit of a smug look on her face and just had to share her first big victory in practicing a little self-care and over-coming her selfish bitch voices.
She explained that in the past, before going on their family skiing trips she would arrange everything, including healthy snacks for the ride and all the ski equipment. She would even fill the tank with gas. She was always the last person she would think about and so would end up not enjoying herself because of the stress of trying to make it great for everyone else and inevitably loosing her temper in the process. This time she made sure to tell her husband and children ahead of time that she was changing her ways. They would all have to be responsible for their own stuff. She informed them in a kind voice that, if they forgot anything it would be sad, but they probably couldn’t ski. So she got all her stuff packed and was ready, way ahead of time. Instead of being frantic, she had time to sit and have a cup of tea (one of her favorite things in the world to do). While the kids raced around asking where all their stuff was, she calmly and empathetically said, “Gee, I don’t know but I’m sure you can come up with a plan if you don’t find it.” She was cringing inside because her old feelings of guilt and shame were being triggered, but she had done enough self-reflection to know where that habitual reaction came from and also what it lead to.
So she practiced some deep breathing and managed to act very calm while she continued to drink her tea, even with a few derogatory comments coming from the children. (Her husband knew what the plan was so he was on board). To her surprise and relief, everyone got it together. Well, not totally because they forgot the snacks, but they had to stop for gas anyway so the kids picked up some tasty treats, paid for with their own money, and all was well.
We all cheered for Paula because the delight on her face revealed the feeling of empowerment that comes with asking for what she needed and seeing how that helps the whole family learn how to take good care of themselves; not to mention that she had a really good time on her family trip.
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