If I Put Myself First ...

 

I will disappear, will be forgotten.

I will disappoint the people I care about most.

They will be hurt by my withdrawal, and exile me from their life.

The guilt will overwhelm me.

I will be alone and isolated, a forced imprisonment kind of feeling.

These are the fears of the Emotional Mind. I literally feel sick to my stomach as I endeavor to do just this, to put my own needs before another. I didn’t know how deeply this tendency to tend to The Other first was ingrained in me until the same message was delivered through 2 different people within 2 days of each other, and I endeavored to stop.

The Message: It’s time for Raven (Joan) to take care of Raven, to retreat for a short while, to tend to her own spirit and to let that be the priority, period. Fuck!

- No more “being there” when it derails me from my own work …

- No more looking for and to the other for reassurance that I’m OK …

- No more mental spreadsheets - if you do for me I must immediately do for you …

- No more sucking it up when something or someone spits their vile on me …

- No more settling for whatever I can get …

I think these No Mores might sound reasonable to many of you reading this. Truthfully, it feels like I'm dying inside. Right now, at the beginning of this quest to right side myself, the mental/emotional conditioning is fighting to keep everything in place, in its messy dramatic place. This is what I must walk through if I’m to change anything.

I know that I am here to be of service to others, to nurture talent and to tune into the wants and needs of the people I am called to engage with. At the same time, if I don’t have my own oxygen mask on, as they say, I cannot be any real good to anyone, especially ME! There is no doubt that I am MUCH more comfortable tending to the other. At the same time, I avoid some people because they expect me to care and do things that I cannot. I’d like to think I’ll be more comfortable with that, too, without defense.

The only thing I can hang onto while I wade through the guilt associated with daring to put myself first is this inkling of an idea that when I’m able to look out for me, my connection with others will be healthier because my connection with myself will be solid.  I imagine I’ll be able to care, able to give, and also know where those limits are without apology. I’ll be stable enough in my being to be able to focus on my own work when it’s time to do that.

So dear ones, those who might think or worry that I’ve stopped caring, I haven’t. I am starting to care for myself, too, so that when I show up for you, you can count on it in a way that you cannot now. When I can’t be available I’ll not love it, but I’ll also know that all is as it should be, that you’ll be fine and if it doesn't come from from me it will come from another. And that will be OK too. You might even still like me… or not. And that, too, will have to be OK.

From my heart to yours, Raven Joan