There are many reasons we come to neglect ourselves. It's often due to pain that we choose not to address it. If we can appropriately support each other to experience and to process these thoughts and emotions, we can not only live better lives for ourselves but we can live better lives for everyone around us. Self neglect harms us in multiple ways. We justify it by saying that we're "doing it for other people" or "they need me to." Sometimes it is a burden that was either placed on us by someone else or ourselves trying to compensate for something we may or may not be aware of. If you have kids or if you have people that look up to you, what kind of example are you setting for them? How might this impact their lives? When they see you bending over backwards to accommodate other peoples needs, when they see you avoiding hard conversations because it's easier not to say anything, and when they see you constantly exhausted, what is the example that you're setting? Is that how you want them to live their lives? Do you want to see your children slaving away for someone else giving up their happiness and their freedom to work harder to please other people? That's what they're being shown. They may, like you, be afraid of judgment, they may have anxiety over doing something well enough (performance anxiety), maybe they get overwhelmed because they don't know how to cope with stress, and they don't know how to have tough conversation because they've never seen it happen.
When we neglect ourselves there are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual consequences. It literally affects our whole being. And I ask you, is it worth it?
We are social and emotional beings that are here to have a human experience. Part of that is living and enjoying life as much as possible and that doesn't mean having the biggest house or having "all the things," it's about experiences. It's about moments. It's about our choices and the permission that we give ourselves to either live for our own experiences or to deny ourselves the right to happiness and joy because we think we are underserving and that we need to work harder for it. I would strongly argue that we can live our lives and that we can be of service to others, without sacrificing ourselves. And if your reasons for self neglect runs deep from trauma, I encourage you to reach out to the right support and resources to help you find the peace and the joy that is available to you. Having said that I recognize there a lot of people that are living in pain, fear, chaos, and violence. Once we become aware of who we are, where we are, and what we want, we have a choice. Until then, we are not aware we have a choice. We have a choice in how we express our emotions and we're the only ones connected to our spirituality. Everyone is different. Everyone responds to different circumstances differently. We have a choice in how we create our internal landscape. We don't always have a safe choice to leave a toxic environment and when we do it's not usually easy to leave. There is a lot of psychology involved in those situations so whether you are in that situation or you may or may not know someone in a harmful living situation, please be gentle with them. It's not as simple as just getting up and leaving. If there are supports and resources available to you, I encourage you to take those first steps and whether you leave, shift your mindset, or not, when you're ready, I encourage you to do what's right and safe for you.
I encourage everyone to choose to make your internal landscape work for you because that is something you do have control over. For those of us who are afraid of judgment, afraid "I'm not doing enough," I don't know enough," "I'm not enough," etc., at the end of the day we're meant to be exactly where we are, in this moment, with this knowledge, these skills, these emotions. We don't know what will happen. We do know everything depends and we have a choice. We can give ourselves permission to live, experience, and feel or we can choose to neglect, block, and guard. At the end of the day we have control of our internal landscape. We get to choose who, what, when, where, and why happens within that internal landscape. Do what's right for you in each moment. If staying where you are is what's best for you or what's manageable for you, do that. If you're ready to move on from self neglect to start living the life that you deserve, to be a role model for those that look up to you and that are influenced by you, you can make that choice now. You only need Your permission. You do not need anyone else's permission to do what is right for you. You can connect to your heart and your gut and start to trust what your body is telling you. Start to bring awareness to your internal landscape, the language, and the actions that you choose. Step by step you'll move out of self neglect into personal power. If you already have the tools and resources available to you, I encourage you to pull them out and start working with them. If you'd like a starting place Step one of my 9-step Metamorphosis program is $5. This is the first step to help you get started, to navigate out of Self Neglect and move into Your Personal Power. What is personal power worth to you? What is being a good role model worth to you? What is your happiness and the happiness of those around you worth to you? What is setting healthy boundaries worth to you? What are healthy and meaningful relationships worth to you? You have the power within you. You are loved. You are capable. You are worthy. You are enough. It's time to remember who you are. Time to start living as that person that you know you are, that person you forgot about, that person that asking to come out and live.