Monday, June 25, 2012

Self-Nurturing- Knowing What You Need and Why You Need It........

I am a strong and independent woman and proud of it! Most of the time I have an "I don't need anybody" attitude. I am like the female version of John Wayne; I'll fight against good and evil and ride off into the sunset. Proud and alone.  I can attribute this attitude to a few things:

1.  I managed to pick up the pieces of my ruined life many years ago and completely change it.
2.  I am single and although I would like to find the right guy, I am not constantly out on the prowl looking for a man nor am I weeping over the fact that I not actually in a relationship. I don't need a man. I want one.
3.  Everything I need to know about getting the job done myself, I learned my father.

It's good to be self-reliant and independent but sometimes, it can also be very, very bad. No one ever rushes to assist John Wayne because most people think he's got it covered. Not to mention, he's probably too proud to ask or risk tarnishing his very capable image.

Every once in a blue moon, when things become too much for me to handle, I actually do need someone else to lean on for support. This can be confusing for those who see me as fiercely independent. This past week was one of those times. I had too much handed to me all at once and I felt as if I was going to crumble under the pressure. I didn't really want help; not physical help, anyway.  I knew what I had to do. Yes, I wanted some advice and I got that from a dear friend. What he told me; I already knew. I had to exercise some real tough love. Tough love is easy advice to give to someone else.  I tell other people to do it all the time. It's not so easy when it's your turn to put it into practice.

I did what I had to do and quite honestly, that proverbial shit that's supposed to hit the fan still hasn't happened. Not completely, anyway. I am not sure what is going to happen. All I did is put my foot down and declare certain practices and behaviors unacceptable. And........If you don't like it; get the hell out and I don't give a damn where you go! Those are the most difficult words in the world to say to someone you love. Deep inside, your greatest fear is that they will leave. And then what? Truth be told, I am not a threatening, ultimatum type of person. That's grossly out of character for me. I am usually tolerant and accepting and people know this about me. The fact that I had to take such a strong stand wore me out completely. I was broken, scared, and alone.  For the first time in a very long time, what I needed was a strong man to put his arms around me and reassure me that everything was going to be okay. Even if he wasn't so certain of that fact himself.  Well, hello. I am single. There is no man in my life to hold me. There's no lover or partner who knows me well enough to realize how badly I wanted reassurance and needed to lean  just a little bit for just a little while.  I almost ashamed to admit I wanted to be stroked and coddled and free to cry in some guy's arms for as long as I needed.

My desire and need was so strong that I did not know what to do with myself. Wait. I knew what I could do. I could get myself all dolled up and go down to the local bar, have a few drinks, and take my pick of any guy there. That's a great place to find someone to hold you. They're willing. They'll hold you all night if that's what you want. No strings, no demands, no real intimacy. Several years ago, that's probably what I would've done. Those kinds of actions, however, come with a price; at least for me. A lack of respect for myself and in the long run; feeling even more lonely than I was before. The only way to cure that is to go back out and do it again.  And so begins the cycle of destructive behavior and self-loathing. No thank you. I fought very hard to get where I am now and I don't believe in moving backward. I only believe in moving ahead. Even if that means I have to go alone.

So, I decided to sit down and think about what I wanted and needed. I immediately crossed being held in the arms of a nice, strong man off the list. There was no one around to do that for me and I sure as hell wasn't going out to find a temporary guy. So, what next? Since I couldn't have that; what would be the next best thing? What was I looking for? What did I really need?
Change of Environment

Yes. Those are things I needed. So how could I get them in a healthy, non-destructive way?

Well, I knew sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself was a bad idea. These four walls served as a reminder of recent events and I knew if I stayed here it would be too tempting to give into the unthinkable. So, I packed my bags and took off for Brooklyn. That's the one place I know where I am loved and accepted for my wild and wacky self. I could spend time with my sister and her husband. Their greatest joy is to spoil me, feed me all my favorite foods, and drag me all over the city. My three year old niece lives with them and she happens to worship the ground I walk on. I would trade my sorrow for a weekend filled with activity, laughter, love and security. Problem solved. Okay, the big problem? Still not completely resolved but what I needed, I found in one weekend, without sacrificing an ounce of self-respect or dignity. Part of my healing was making the decision to not talk about my issues with anyone else the entire time. I completely removed my body, mind and spirit from the situation and kept my focus on other things. As a result, I returned home last night well-rested, well-feed, well-loved, and with enough strength to deal with whatever comes my way. If I feel myself wavering again; back to Brooklyn I will go.

This is self-nurturing. Self nurturing does not mean anesthetizing yourself or going out to find a temporary fix.  More often than not, the results of doing that will make you feel even worse.  Self-nurturing means taking care of yourself in healthy ways and identifying what it is you really need and want. It could involve sitting down and completely deconstructing all of it; like I did. I couldn't have what I wanted at that moment so I had to substitute it with something else. Feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on what I did not have quite possibly could have ended badly. I am not willing to take that chance.

I work with clients and help them to identify their cravings and unhealthy choices. I also assist them in understanding why they make these choices and reach for temporary fixes instead of the real thing. Most often, it all stems from hurt, fear, disappointment, rejection, and lack of understanding and acceptance of oneself.

To be truly successful and healthy in your body, mind, and spirit, you must get to know who you are; including your strengths and your weaknesses. Identify your destructive temporary quick fixes. What are they? Food? Drugs? Alcohol? Sleeping the day away? Even too much exercise can be an unhealthy, temporary fix. Slowly begin to replace those things with good alternatives that will contribute to your health and healing. What do you really want?  A candy bar or a hug? More often than not; it's the hug you really want. Practice a bit of self-nurturing, know what you need, when you need it, and how to get it. And then...... go get it!

And this is my Daily Cyn................

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