Do you know the answer to that question? I ask myself that every morning in my quiet time. It is such a simple question and my answers are usually the same – I need to get that project finished; I need to buy milk; I need to exercise; I need to talk to a friend; I need to read a book for fun.
We make lists and we take courses – hell, I even teach some on how to make lists and get it all done. We rush from task to task and meeting to meeting all day. And, I believe for me – it was easier to stick to the list than to examine how I was feeling – or what I needed. Feelings are fuzzy and I can’t control them. Lists are manageable.
My lesson is to not block the feelings, as messy as they may seem, to speak up when I don’t agree – not to win an argument – just to be heard. My lesson is to ask ‘What do I need’ every day and honor what comes up.
We are hardwired to take care of others first – be there for everyone else and some have trouble taking care of themselves. Asking what I need is taking a baby step into self-care. We can’t give from an empty cup. We can’t really be there for the people in our lives when we are depleted and exhausted.
Taking care of you is not selfish – it is necessary. We don’t control a lot, but we do control our level of health and happiness – I call these the big rocks. Those things that bring meaning to our lives. If we don’t put us on our calendars and on our lists – we don’t get taken care of. We don’t exercise or pray or spend time with people that matter. We don’t read, buy something just for fun, or go to a movie and laugh or cry.
I need to focus on my feelings and what I need to truly be the person that God intended. I don’t believe that he wants me to ignore my feelings or needs. So, why do we do it?
What do you need today? Do you need more sleep? Do you need more exercise? Do you need more water? Do you need pizza for dinner instead of cooking?
Listen to the answers – they will help lead you to a healthier and happier place – I promise!