Taking Care

You know how in passing we say “take care.”
Yeah, you’ve said it.
You’ve heard it.
Do you mean it when you say it?
Do you really hope others will take care of themselves?
Do you really do it?
When someone tells you to take care,
do you really take care of yourself?

As a codependent I used to think it was my job
to take care of everyone and everything.
I was always sticking my nose in other peoples’ business.
Yes, peoples is plural.
I tried to control others.
I would serve them to make them love me
or to change them
or just to be in control.
I had no idea I was doing it
but I was.
Then I gained awareness
and I’ve tried really hard to change me ways.

So now I try not to excessively worry about other people,
(it’s still a work in progress)
and I also try a lot harder to worry
about the only thing that was in
my control all along: me, myself and I.

Several years ago I made a very conscious decision
that I was going to take care of me.
That little decision has made me a much happier person.
Not only did it free me from the things that weighed me down and were out of my control,
but it changed my focus completely.
I am always asking myself what I need now.
I don’t rely on everyone else to make me happy,
I just try to have a healthy self dialogue to honestly assess my needs
and then I go out and get what I need.

I never used to do that
and then I would be all resentful that nobody was taking care of me.
Half the time I didn’t know what I needed
and half the time I did, but I would wait for someone else
to magically show up and give it to me.
In this case there is no such thing as magic.

Of course I was too afraid to look inward
and realize that the blame lied with me,
and not on the others who couldn’t work magic
and so I walked around with a chip
on my shoulder all of the time.
I was mad all of the time.
Nobody cared about me.
Boo hoo hoo.

Now I can graciously accept it when others love me
because I no longer have the excessive need to be loved
and I don’t expect people to work magic
like in the past.
I appreciate their love and want it,
but I don’t have an excessive need for it.
I have the one thing that I really need most:
I love myself.
I take care of myself.

Two days ago
I found this little gem below
on the ground next to
our pile of backpacks.
One of my daughters
had been writing about me at school.

It made my century.
One – someone else notices that I can take care of myself.
Two – that person is one of the people I want to be a good example for most.
Three – She knows it is safe to say that I have flaws because we all do.
Four – She didn’t dwell on the flaws. Thank goodness.

It is the only way to really live: taking care.
If we can’t take care of ourselves
nobody else will.
Or they might try really hard
but it will never really penetrate because
the inner you will be in turmoil.
Trust  me on this.
Take care now, ya’ hear.
While running after writing this post
I heard this song by MJ
and thought my next step is to
find the right balance
of caring for myself and others
for the right reasons.

I wish Michael Jackson would have taken care of himself.

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3 comments

  1. You are so right! I am lucky to have a husband who takes care of me too… I think we all could give a bit more to ourselves… but it is just easier for me to give to others and set myself on the 'back-burner'.

    ToOdLeS.

  2. I absolutely mean it when I say it, much more than saying “have a good day” or other parting words.

    And I'm so glad you take care of yourself now. I think only we can do the best job of that because only we really know what we need and when (if that's ever really possible to know what is best for ourselves)

    You're fantastic and putting into words what so many other people may be thinking. Thanks!

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