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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Jill of all trades, mistress of none.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Soul Food

I have eaten a lot of my words lately. And no, they are not very tasty.

The words I keep choking on are those that I’ve throw out at stressed caregivers and overworked women through the years. It isn’t tough to resurrect the essence of those conversations…

Someone grabs me… in the hall at work, or at church. Perhaps someone casually drops by my office under the guise of asking a question or expressing a concern about someone else. Before long the person pours out their heart. They divulge the enormous burden that they are carrying (usually a burden they have shared with no one). They beat themselves up for what they are not doing right, or perhaps for what they THINK they are not doing right. At some point after lengthy listening, I throw this out:

“It sounds like you are suffering under a pretty huge load. I am concerned for you. What are you doing to take care of yourself?”

(Crickets Chip...)

“I know that your family and your work are important to you, but you won’t be able to take care of either of these commitments unless you find a way to care for yourself, to feed your soul.”

My airway just narrowed, then collapsed. Someone please perform the Heimlich.

There was a time, once upon, when caring for myself was rather simple. When there were no deadlines, and doctor appointments, and people who depended on me or expected things from me at home. A time when I didn’t juggle projects and goals and papers at work. A time when marriage seemed easy. Times have changed.

I’ve found that feeding my soul takes work; a commitment on my part. It seems like something that SHOULDN’T, doesn’t it? Like most of us, I guess I want happiness and my sense of wholeness to come easily.

I have eaten a lot of my words lately. I imagine that in my sleep I grind those words while I grind my teeth. The words are not very tasty, and indeed they do nothing to feed my soul.

3 Comments:

Blogger bobbie said...

self care is so difficult for me too. it is wonderful though to have others in your life who care enough for you to speak this truth into your life. beautiful post. thank you, it resonated deeply for me.

2:48 AM  
Anonymous kdtrace said...

Great post. I loved the image of grinding the words while grinding your teeth at night. You can feel the anguish. Please keep writing about this struggle for self and soul while caring for so much and so many. And the mysteries of marriage for the LONG run. There are so many of us grinding the same kinds of things between our clenched teeth in the night. Thanks for writing.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

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5:11 PM  

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