Last Wednesday, I posted about Cheryl Richardson’s weekly e-newsletter and mentioned a book I really like, Take Time For Your Life. In the book, Cheryl discusses a concept she calls “self-care” – it’s kind of like being selfish, but in a good way. The idea is that you have to take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of everything else – your family, your work, your friends.
As an off-shoot, I’ve just created the concept of “self-affection” for myself. In trying to lose weight and get in shape, I realized that I have a very distant relationship with my body. I’m not in tune with it. It scares me, in the sense that I never quite know what’s going on with it (am I going to be able to hit the max incline on the treadmill today?), what it’s going to do next (break out in a rash? give me a terrible headache?), or what it’s capable of (if I keep working out, will I be able to run a 5K with my husband?). We just don’t seem to get along.
I’ve never been much of an athlete, even when I played sports. I dreaded PE in school – especially gymnastics and track. (Note to PE teachers: Is it really a big deal if an 8-year-old can’t do a cartwheel? Do you really have to make her practice for 10 minutes off to the side in front of everyone?) I’ve never felt coordinated or in control of my body. This is not likely to change, but that’s okay.
What I want is to feel an affection for my body. A warm, fuzzy feeling. I practice compassion towards other people in my life. It’s time I showed a little compassion towards myself.