If they show affection to their children, they are “clingy”; if they become strict once in a while, they are being “bitchy”.
If they care for other members, they are “too selfless” and “lost themselves”; if they pursue their career, they are “not nurturing enough to be a mother”.
They get a flower once a year on Mother’s Day. Or twice. One more flower on their birthday. “Thank you, mom!” You say, while you know doing this is “because it’s what people do” other than thanking her.
If your mother is like mine, she’s always there.
She’s there cheering for you if you are doing well.
She’s there calming you down if you are upset.
She’s there cleaning up your mess if you never clean up by yourself.
She’s there hugging you when you, well, simply need a hug.
And more often than not, moms are also kiss-givers.
If yours is not, she might just give you kisses in other ways, like praises, smiles, or good food.
Yes, she’s ALWAYS there.
And that’s it! That’s the reason why it’s easy for you to take her for granted.
BECAUSE she’s always there. She’s like the oxygen in the air. You will for damn sure notice when she’s not there.
She might be controlling. And the only thing you want to do when you are young is to get out of that control.
But you know what? When the control suddenly stops, you don’t feel free.
You feel lost.
So please, stop taking your mom for granted if she’s still there.
I’m going to focus on nothing else but my own well-being. The best a mother can give her kid is her own well-being, physically and mentally.
Because that represent a way of living.
Taking responsibility for your own life is the most essential way to live a good life.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish.
Being selfish means ignoring, and therefore, hurting others while solely thinking about one’s own benefit:
“It’s my way or confict.” “It’s my way or the highway.”
Ignoring or even hurting one’s own well-being “for the sake of others” is the opposite of selflessness.
It usually manifests a narcisistic character. Such character demands everybody else’s recognition and acknowledgement of this character’s “selflessness”. And at the same time, for this person to feel morally superior to “others”.
Taking care of oneself first means you don’t become a burden to anyone else, by needing other people’s help or assistence.
Taking care of oneself is the precondition to be supportive or helpful to other people.
Taking care of oneself first and asking people to take care of themselves — so that it’s fair for everyone from the start. Nobody is in anybody’s debt in the first place.
It’s the lightest and fairest relationship.
Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others, without feeling sorry for yourself and demanding repay from others later.
How to take care of yourself first?
List out every problem in your life that you are thinking about at this moment. 1. I don’t have enough money to… 2. I’m in a terrible relationship with… 3. I cannot achieve my dream to be… …
And now ask yourself: How do I feel? How are my physical and mental states? What can I do to improve my physical health and my mental health?
Work on your physical and mental well-being first.
Because, as you can see, only when you are in a good place with your physical and mental health, can you solve or even begin to tackle the problems you listed above.
This is the ultimate prioritization.
We all live in the same world. But in fact, we operate seperately in our own worlds — with our own body and using our own mind, while guided and influenced by our own spirituality or belief.
In this analogy, our body and mind are the sole fundamentals of our own world in which we operate. If the fudamentals are problematic and unstable, so are the operations within this world — your career, relationships, love life, dreams and hopes…
This ultimate prioritization is not selfish.
It’s the very important, should-not-be-missed construction and regular maintanace of the world we are living in.
Minimisation of social interaction these days is driving many people crazy.
But the introverts are not included. Like many of them might say.
I put myself somewhere in between of introvert and extrovert. This quarantine time has been a good test for me to find out to which side I’m leaning towards.
It turns out: I’m more of an introvert, since I hardly craved for social (face to face) interactions with other people beside the person I’m living with. And I’m glad just to stay at home and go outside for a walk.
I do miss bars sometimes. But that’s the extent of which public place I miss.
Oh, and swimming pool.
Anyway. I like to be alone and do my own stuff. But this isolation time has taught me so much about myself, and the world around me, than I ever expected.
Introverts enjoy being at home and not going to have small talks with others. This is what we thought we know.
But most of the times, the location is not the problem. “The others” are. And especially the social obligation to make meaningless interactions with them…
The truth for me is: mandatory quarantine like this really gives me more space in my life. That’s how I feel. Spacious. I focus better when I’m at home; I enjoy spending quality time with my live-in boyfriend better. I’m much more aware of my inner activities: how I’m feeling about this and that, and why?
It’s like the five senses. When one sense is compromised, the other four will strengthen.
Normal live routine, especially conventional social interactions, is much more limited. Therefore part of your brain is triggered. You start to observe more clearly many other aspects that have been intensified.
Your brain, for evolutionary reasons, will probably perceive the intensified aspects (neighbours dog’s barking, birds chirping, your partner’s snoring even when he/she’s taking a short nap) as negative. But there will be time coming, where you adjust yourself in this new condition of work and life. You accept the isolation as a fact, and gratefully observe the intriguing process of how your mind adjusting to it.
That’s to say, isolation is your chance to a month-long meditation retreat!
Don’t miss this paid, and socially praised meditation retreat!
PS: I’m inspired mostly by Seth Godin’s Get to vs. have to podcast and blog. Highly recommend it!