Week Eight – Practice Self-Care

I think this is the week on this blog where I admit to being human. To having ups and downs, just like everyone. Most of the time, life is good. But sometimes that good comes through struggle. This week’s been like that. I don’t know if anyone will find this interesting or helpful, but I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been learning.

I’ve had a lot of experiences this week that have mirrored to me how damaging my need to be in control can be. I don’t really want to go into a lot of detail about the experiences, but I found that the more in control I tried to be, the more out of control I felt.

I found myself getting pretty upset. Upset that I was experiencing a lot of self-defeating behaviors and feeling far from the solutions I was desperately seeking. Upset that the support I was trying to offer to someone I love was actually smothering and pushing them further away. I felt like the more I tried to fix something, the more I damaged it.

Whether you get your wisdom from The Byrds or The Bible, there is comfort in knowing, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh… a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.”

There is a time for concern and there is a time for trust and letting go. There’s a time for analyzation and breaking things down, and there is a time for building up. A time for feeling frustration and sorrow, and a time to relax and let life flow. There’s even a time to love, and a time to love someone enough to give them space and trust they can handle their own challenges.

This week, I wanted to pull into balance a little more. I’ve spent so much time and energy trying to “fix” myself and “help” other people that I have actually accomplished the opposite. This week I tried to relax and let up on the self-judgement. To focus more on the building up.

I did a lot of small things, mostly making time for exercise, getting healthy organic food at the grocery store, reading scriptures and inspiring books, having aromatherapy baths with essential oils, taking time for meditation and prayer, journaling… All the little things add up, though.

I also did something a little out of character and took myself on a date. I got dressed nicely and went to the opening night of Tim Burton’s 3D Alice in Wonderland. I met a really nice army veteran who served in Vietnam while I was waiting in line. I talked with a lot of people I might have ignored if I had been there with friends or a date. The movie was amazing and had a wonderful message about facing seemingly-impossible things in our lives. It felt good to take care of myself that way. Not to spend a dollar at a Redbox or the dollar theater, but to allow myself a little luxury and the pleasure of my own company.

It’s been good to learn some lessons about control and trust this week. It’s been good to learn that by relaxing and taking care of myself, I’ll be in a better place to help others… if they want my help. Things may not happen in the way I wanted them to or hoped they would, but controlling won’t make them happen either.

Answers come. Life works out. I can either resist and hold on to control, or I can accept and let life and God teach me in a natural way. The outward, physical things I can do to support and nurture myself are important and helpful. But in all of this, I think I’m learning that putting my trust in His care is the best self-care that I could ever practice.

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5 thoughts on “Week Eight – Practice Self-Care

  1. Julie Skousen says:

    Carrie,
    You are such a great person and I admire you a lot. I want to be like you when I grow up. 🙂

  2. Beautifully written. There are few things life that are more refreshing than the company of those that take the time to reflect and improve. Your blog is inspiring and your insight encouraging!

  3. Jenny says:

    I love reading this blog. And I love what you wrote about how there is a time to critically study oneself in order to improve, and how there’s also a time to focus on caring for and encouraging oneself, and stopping the self judgement–which is a hard thing to do. (Wow, using the term “oneself” made that seem really formal). At any rate, reading this post has inspired me to better know the difference. I always love reading your perspective and insights. LOVE AND HUGS!

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m proud of you, Carrie. It is sooo important to make time for yourself. You need to take it easy and pamper yourself once in awhile. I’m glad you went to see Alice in Wonderland.

    One of the things I have come to realize is that in my life (as in many other people’s lives as well, I’m sure), some of my biggest trials have come from a loss of expectations. I expected things to turn out one way and they turned out another…and that is HARD. I’ve always had an easy time being patient with other people and a REALLY hard time being patient with myself and the Lord’s timetable for me.

    One of the things that helped was a quote by Neal A. Maxwell (I’ll have to get you the exact quote). But in essence, it says that when we are impatient, we might possibly be affecting another person’s agency. That really struck me. And it helped me learn a little more patience with myself (though it’s something I always have to work on).

    I love you so much! You are an amazing woman.

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