There are several well-known adages when it comes to water. One of them is still waters run deep. The other is you don’t (or won’t) miss your well until it runs dry. However, as we close out this month of self-care and reflection, I have one more piece of wisdom to give you.
Self-care involves change.
I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it isn’t. Not really.
Think of your spirit, your inner man, your soul, your being, as a well. There are things which need to be put into it–refilled being the better word–by the things that serve us! The things that give us strength and courage! But let me help you real quick.
As you move through life an grow up, the things you may have done in the past to soothe or strengthen you, may not work. For me? When I would have stressful days at work, or people would ‘make me mad’, I couldn’t wait to get to Wednesday or Friday to drink! There was this bar called Laclede’s down from St. Louis University that me and four other girlfriends would go to and we would be drunk on Wednesday nights (college night!) or on Saturdays or Sundays! Or, on Sundays we would go to this salsa bar called La Onda on Washington Avenue and drink, get drunk, and dance.
That refilled by well when I was in my early 20’s. The music, the vibe, the variety of men–it all soothed me. But that doesn’t now. What soothes my nerves now is a hot bath and a good book. The company of my husband and my children. Or a kid-free weekend! And with my finishing my undergrad? The thing that helps me blow off steam is knocking these assignments out!
The things that used to bring me joy at 18, at 24 and even at 28, don’t soothe me at 38.
Life has deepened my wells. Wells being the metaphor for the things which have shaped who I am. When life exposes those raw wounds, I need a storm sometimes to remind me that I am built to withstand being tossed around–and every storm leaves a deposit.
This water, this rain water is rich with love, tolerance and even the forgiveness of my own self. Granted, some storms of my life have not been of my own making, and some of them have been. But the glorious thing is when these storms of life come–I am never left bereft.
I learn something, even when something is taken away.
Self-care is, and can be introspective this way.
It challenges you to maintain steady even when everything else around you isn’t! You learn what serves you, and what never, ever will. You learn exactly who to let draw from you wells–and when to cut off access. These are things you learn as you grow. These are things you learn as life grows you up!
Sometimes you wells have to go dry so you can remember and recognize this in other people! Some people in your life have no desire for change, for anything lasting or to add anything to your life. They are only there to take what is available. These soul-snatchers, essence-drinkers, vampires, they will always be so–until you stop them.
Self-care involves change.
It involves the willingness to do something different–to get something different–for you. Self-care, for you, should be the realization in some cases that what used to serve you, is no longer. Or it may for a while, or a season–but what used to fill you–soon won’t even cover the bottom of a bowl.
The choice is yours, beloved Torches. It really is.
Your wells–your own self–is a treasure. Hidden and valuable. Treat it as much. While filling everyone else’s well, make sure you know your own water level. And no everyone deserves a chance to drink from it.