You use to consider it an indulgence--the thing you got to after everything on your seemingly never-ending to-do list was crossed off. You even prided yourself on this fact.
And then the long hours at the computer, staring at your word document hoping to pile on more words upon your other words in an effort to be a good student caught up with you, as did the too-often ignored yoga mat. Your body cried out; it resisted your anxious busyness, your insistence on committing to just one more daily professional task to prove your worth. You now had no choice but to take care of that shoulder misaligned from too much time in front of the computer, or that hip ache from gluing yourself to your seat.
You no longer felt the need to brag about not taking care of yourself. It was no badge of honor to be working round the clock. Only self-harm.
It was many months after that--years even--that you slowly began to learn the necessity of self-care. It was a hard lesson. One that taught you the patience only daily care to mend your body can teach you. When it seemed as if you would forget, your body was there to remind you with little aches and pains, old injuries flaring up like ghosts stirred to life.
Now you look back at that part of you stretched beyond your limit as if it were another lifetime. Now you no longer consider self-care an indulgence. That to-do list is no longer never-ending, but a contained list of tasks that are never, ever quite as important as time in the day to heal yourself, care for yourself so that your body sings with light and your heart beats strong. No longer are you afraid to commit to caring for yourself.
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