How many of you see yourselves as Superwomen? You have that big “S” on your chest. You are Super-Doers at work. You step in when things need to be done right. You are Super-Lovers; remember that commercial of a woman with a frying pan singing, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, ever let you forget you’re a man”? Yeah, that one. You are Super-Housekeepers. The pillows are in place! (Or they will be at soon as you get home). You are Super-Mothers. Children are clothed, fed, hugged, and driven to their play dates, sports arenas, dance classes, swim, etc. Some of you are Super-Students as well. You are always looking for ways to advance yourself personally or in your career. You are amazing.
Super Women are not slackers. They get things done. People love and admire them. They hear statements all the time like, “I don’t know how you do it all.” They are envied as well. All they accomplish in one day can leave another woman feeling like she is a “slacker.” The one thing people don’t know about “Super Women” is they are “Super Tired”. Super Women are usually better at self-sacrifice than they are at self-care. Some of the common cries are that they really want to take better care of themselves, they want to eat better, exercise, and make time for personal enjoyment, but simply don’t know where to fit it in. If they finally do get to squeeze out a little time it loses its enjoyment because they feel guilty with so much left to still do.
Let me offer another lens of self care in hopes of giving you the “permission” you need to indulge, enjoy, and refresh yourself. In the Bible (Matthew 22:38), it says to love others as you love yourself. This does not mean that we are to put ourselves above everyone else. It means we are to put ourselves on our list as well. When we deny ourselves the right to rest and rejuvenate then we do not love ourselves they way we should. It’s like working for an overbearing boss who doesn’t allow you to take coffee breaks or lunch hours. After a while of being deprived of a break, it starts to affect your work performance and your relationships. It can turn you downright ugly. We are wired in such a way where we need to do something we enjoy to refresh our mind, body and spirit; an indulgence that is solely for us. Be it a nap, reading, gardening, a walk, exercise, a massage, a bath, etc. The essence of love is mercy, compassion, and care. When we love ourselves in this way we are living and modeling love in its fullest measure to others (especially our daughters, who will one day wear the “S” as well).
As for the guilt you feel when you take time for yourself, recognize it’s an old tape from an unhealthy mindset of days gone by. You are not a workhorse. You are worthy of love and care. It’s your God given right. It’s also your responsibility to be good stewards of the life God has given you. If you don’t personally add yourself to the list of things to take care of, no one else will either. Not taking time out for you is like the Super Woman’s kryptonite (the only thing that could defeat the real Superman). With tongue in cheek, let’s just assume that God is big enough to run the world for a few minutes while we take our breaks. Sometimes you have to hang up the cape and enjoy life’s journey. #rewardscoaching #marriagebuilders