Summer was crazy, in a very good way, for me. I’ve talked a little about how I was passed (perhaps shoved) into the arms of Brigid by The Morrigan a bit okay. At the time, I was in dire need of some physical healing. I was very sick. And when the time came, I went back to The Morrigan, grateful to Brigid for her divine healing work.
What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t just need physical healing. Being sick brought out some emotional and mental trauma, and I wasn’t acknowledging all of it. While The Morrigan was welcoming, and put me to work when it served her (aka, The Morrigan’s Call retreat), I got sent back.
“I sent you to Brigid to heal.”
“I have, for the most part. I’m on the mend, things are getting better.”
“Uh huh. And your mental state?”
“Ummmmmm, I don’t know what you mean.” I kind of did, but I don’t want to work on that.
“Do you really want me to break it all down, again?”
“You can’t tend to others if you aren’t tending to yourself first. I see the seams of you, ripping, tearing, falling apart. Focus. On. You.”
This was a hard message for me. Me, who was planning to spend a lot of energy seeking clients and stepping up to help others. I’ve worked so long, getting my certificates, and honing skills. I was ready to chase dreams, even if it was going to be incredibly hard and time consuming, and probably not carry a lot of financial reward. Being told “No” by your primary Goddess, not because you can’t but because you shouldn’t, not until you fix some things you’ve ignored.
We all carry trauma and wounds, and sometimes, we can push very hard past that pain and discomfort, or ignore it completely. Many of us have family, and friends, and we can do what we can for them, all while falling apart at the seams. But it’s not something we should do for long. We have to tend our wounds. We can’t just slap bandaids on everything either. Sometimes our wounds need more than a neatly paced bandage. Our wounds need to be cleaned. They need love and care, stitches and casts and not putting any weight on them.
I needed to care for myself deeply. At the time, I didn’t think what I was doing was actually self care and healing, but looking back- it was what I needed. I took time for fun. No looking over my shoulder, wondering if I was wasting time, if I should be writing, serving others or any other devotional, personally spiritual activity. I got to enjoy a video game fanfest in Vegas with my oldest, and it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. There was bonding, but there was confidence building for myself.
I stepped back from my daily devotion, usually out of necessity, but it was only the actions that I dropped- the words I spoke, the movements I made that I wasn’t going through. My heart was still devoted, my thoughts full of gratitude, which I shared daily still.
I got to enjoy a lot of family time this summer. My in-laws, and camping with my kids. I got to see friends, and have fun with them without worrying about deadlines for writing, promoting myself on social media. I missed having a social media presence, and I might’ve lost followers. But I needed that separation. I needed that time to recreate myself, the fun me, the loving me, and not just dutiful, serious me. The part of me that I wondered if I had lost. There had been a time, when I was sick, that I thought I’d never laugh again. I’d always feel pain, I’d always feel alone.
Am I perfect now? Of course not. But this time has helped me heal. It has helped me put some things in perspective, and work towards some very important changes in my life. It reminded me that self care isn’t always bubble baths, candles and desserts. Ok, dessert is ALWAYS self-care. The truth is that even people who work to teach people about taking care of themselves in as many facets as possible can ignore their own advice and forget to do what they teach. Take care of yourself. In as many ways as you can. Don’t ignore your mental health in lieu of physical health, or because you feel like you can’t find the time, space or energy, or that you have to focus on others.
I promote balance so often, and I’ll be the first to admit- I’m not great at it. Balance is hard. Finding time for fun when I’m focused on working, or getting back to work when all I want to do is have fun- it’s tough. Back when I was a young mom, I can remember how bad my postpartum depression got. I struggled to do anything, and lost the ability to clean my house properly. I was lucky, because I married a man who stepped up to the plate without guilting me. But the emotional weight is something I’ve carried for a long time. Housework, as it turns out, has some negative history with me growing up, and finding a balance that has worked for me is something I haven’t attained yet. However, I’ve made strides. I don’t beat myself up if I fail to do something in a timely fashion. While I have each room in my house divided by task, if I don’t get all the tasks done- I move on, particularly if I’ve done something on that list. And it makes it easy for me to say “ok, I don’t feel like doing this, I’m struggling hard today…” and then look at my list and find something to do on it so that something gets done.
That’s healing too- that’s self-care at it’s finest. The greatest self-care you can give yourself is self-compassion. Listen to your body, and your mind, and whatever the Divine you believe in is telling you. Going through life carrying untended wounds is silly and unnecessary. Seek balance, but understand that balance is delicate and precarious. And balance might not look the same every moment of every day. In fact, I guarantee what's balance today for you will not be the same tomorrow. It is why we must move with intention and compassion. So we can rise and meet the challenge.
For myself, I still have goals and dreams, and while things are changing for me, I can hold on to them and adjust as needed. And if my current path doesn't pan out, I'm ok with that. It means it wasn't the right path for me. I still look forward to my seekers each month, and sharing my healing skills with others. And right now, I'm just grateful to have the time I did, and am excited to get back into a routine again.