Self-Care Sunday: What do you really want?

What do you need to give up/or give in order to have what you really want? We can't be in Spain and be in France at the same time. We can't be married and also be single. We can't be financially truly free and be financially poor in the exact same moment.
-Renée of @moderndaywisewoman
 
 
A few weeks ago I was really stressed out but I couldn't immediately pin point why. I was agonizing over how long it would take my dreams to materialize while simultaneously mulling over debt, all the while feeling the subtle and often overt ways family, friends, and society try to dictate what is an acceptable time to marry and have children (and it's never if, but when)
 
Yet despite mulling over those things, I could see that I am content right where I am in my life right now. I am employed, I have health insurance, I have a partner who is loving and supportive during my crazed ups and downs as an entrepreneur, I have two dogs who I adore, and I am surrounded by friends who inspire me. So where does the dissonance come in? Why I am stressed out over the life that I don't have yet, the life that is yet to come, and the life that is never going to be? 
 
Renée encapsulates it in her quote perfectly: I can't be two places at once. I have chosen a path, and while I also desire things along another path, I know I will not find everything, at least not in the timing I desire. While am already trodding down Robert Frost's famous "The Road Not Taken" I am continually going back to the divergence in my mind and questioning if I made the right decision. As I discussed last week, vacation gave me time to slow down, step back, and reevaluate. I don't question whether or not I'm on the right path (for the most part), but I do question what I will have to give up as a result. What are the sacrifices that have to be made? The sacrifices aren't always what you think they are.
 
1. Sacrifice the old you.
In the last 10 years my desires have shifted dramatically, and sometimes I feel like the young lady in her 20s who is still trying to readjust to the one in her 30s. Before I had an awakening, I very much believed in the tradition of getting married and building a family and a primary goal. That is all I wanted for years, so this idea that perhaps neither will happen is devastating to that 20 year old. Sometimes we just need to tell our old self to wipe away the tears of disappointment and move into the new direction. As I always say, sometimes the only one who is holding us back is ourselves. We have to be present in the now and bury the old person. 
 
2. Make sure your old self is dead.
Unfortunately, there are people in our life who remember that person and will try to resurrect them. Hopefully part of your old self is not letting other people's opinions dictate your life decisions. In my 20s I used to be absorbed with other people's opinions. Thankfully in my 30s I laugh at other people's opinions of my life.
 
3. Sacrifice former aspirations.
As I mentioned marriage and procreation were high on my list in my early 20s. I tried so hard to "make it happen" but it never materialized. There is still some part of me that holds on to her aspirations. It is not to say that those things will never happen, but they are no longer number one in my life, nor do they define me. And if I don't "achieve" those things in life it's not the end of the world.

What does this have to do with self-care? When you start recognizing what the best choices are for your own life, apart from the opinions of others, you start leading a life of authenticity. Fortunately for me, I realized early on that people try so hard to be the idea that the world has of them instead of simply being the person they are called to be. For your own sanity, stop succumbing to the pressures of what goals others think you should have. Set your sight on the things that fulfill you, bring you contentment. Meditate on those things, act on them, and find those who will support you.

In honor of National Poetry Month, I leave you with Robert Frost:


The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 
The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at www.thebodybuffet.com. Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief and a self-care advocate. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.

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