“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.” ~Marcus Aurelius
Here’s why that matters:
You may be lost.
Don’t be afraid. It happens to all of us. We get focused on the happiness of everyone else. Our partners, children, family, team. We live for them. We live simply to make sure they are safe and happy. To be what it is they need us to be. Until one day we look around and realize something.
We are lost.
We don’t know where we are, who we are, how we got here. We aren’t who we remember and aren’t really sure we can find them again. And here’s the problem with that…
Although none of those people will tell you…they miss you. They love you or hang with you or spend time with you because of who you are. Or now…were.
We stop. Suddenly we are more round in the middle and pretend it doesn’t matter. Start dressing in a way we think they will like better. Stop taking the time for the gym or nutrition because, well, they are more important.
But they aren’t.
The rub is that you aren’t taking care of them anymore as soon as you aren’t taking care of you. And yeah, I can hear all the parents out there:
“I am a parent! I stopped living for me when I became a parent. I love my babies! You shut your damn mouth!”
Well, you are fooling yourself. How in the Hell can you take care of anyone else if you are truly refusing to take care of yourself? Sure, you can convince yourself and live through your kids. But they WILL leave sooner or later if you do your job. And then what? Then you truly have nothing. You have built no life, no temple, no community. You have defined yourself as something that you never were except for 20 years or so.
Look, I get it. I am a parent myself. I have 2 amazing kids. And I love them as much as you love yours. In fact, I love them SO much that I make sure I love myself, too. I am in a volunteer organization that helps the community. I coach people on wellness, fitness, nutrition. I teach folks to work out. And I eat well.
I teach folks to hunt and fish or just how to live a life that is mindful and purposeful if they wish. Including my children. And they see me live by that code. Helping others. Giving back. LOVING MYSELF.
I had a time long ago where we would play outside and I would suggest we go in and find a movie. I cringe thinking of it now. Since that very day, they saw a change. I was almost 300# and looked every bit of it. Now? I eat well. Lots of plants and some animals. 2 to 3 big meals a day. I fight inflammation and illness with my diet and will always do so.
Listen, I know you love your kids. So do they. Now show them how much it is ok to love themselves.
Live by your own code. Live a life that you can be proud of. And THEY can be proud of.
I promise you, seeing the confidence and independence and sense of self-worth it builds will give you all the feedback you need.
They deserve the best version of you that you can be.
And so do you.