Self-care is a big topic these days, and rightfully so. Almost every other magazine, blog, and social media post focuses on the crucial subject. I’ve joined in on the hoopla as well. I’ve given out suggestions on how to feed your soul , put yourself first, and all that cute crap. It wasn’t until the other day during one of my mother/daughter venting sessions when I zeroed in on the fact that self-care isn’t always fun.
When most think of self-care their brain automatically goes to hour long massages, picture-worthy beach vacations, Blue Bell cookies and cream ice-cream while deep couch sitting, pedicures with a side of Pinot Noir, alone time, a page-turner book, exercising, etc. However, that’s just one side of the self-care movement. There’s another side - a side that isn’t so pretty…..a side that forces you to make gut wrenching decisions that look bizarre to others in the present time, but benefits you wholeheartedly in the future. The type of self-care I’m referring to forces you to say enough is enough, even when your heart wants to hand out 50 more chances. The self-care I’m talking about sometimes ignores what the body is saying and chooses to be alone for a while so that healing and spiritual realignment can properly take place.
I remembering listening to Lauryn Hill’s song When It Hurts So Bad off her debut album for the first time at 16 years old. I would play the song over and over attempting to wrap my mind around why Lauryn thought that something which hurt so bad felt so good. Then in my 20s, I played the song repeatedly and concluded that she must be talking about something going wrong in a relationship and being torn between two lovers…..”what you want might make you cry, and what you need might pass you by…..if you don’t catch it.'“ One of the many things I dig about art is that it evokes different emotions and different interpretations from every consumer. That’s the sole purpose of it. I also like that if you keep coming back to the same art (music, writings, paintings, etc.), it will mean different things to you at different times in your life. I played Lauryn’s song the other night for the first time in a minute. I listened intensely to the words….and I had my “aha” moment. At this time in my life, I believe Lauryn’s song speaks directly to self-care. Her lyrics, “when it hurts so bad, why does it feel so good” , in my opinion depict tough decisions you have to make that sting like hell momentarily, but are ultimately good for you in the long run. This message not only applies to romantic relationships, it applies to all relationships whether it be friendships or business relationships.. It can also be applied to life decisions, health decisions, money decisions, etc. Sometimes you have to be willing to miss out on some things, be the only one standing up for some things, say no to a lot of popular things, and walk away from some exciting things in order to take care of yourself. Sometimes you have to endure the pain now, so that it won’t hurt later. Self-care isn’t always fun. Sometimes it comes with a hefty price tag. But what I’ve learned over time and what I’m still learning is to pay it up front, and reap the investment later. There are a lot of people walking around this earth who didn’t pay the price in the beginning, and the result? Well, they’re bankrupt now.
Paying it upfront,
- Samjah Iman
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