Some of us learned to ignore our own needs…to put others first to avoid abandonment, that self-sacrifice is somehow spiritual or to prioritize money over health and happiness.
The cost of not tending to ourselves can be high. Often the cost is higher, in terms of time, attention and money, than it would have been had we tended to ourselves at the earliest sign of a need. And even if we learn to care for ourselves over the years, sometimes we still discover hidden neglect.
This was brought home to me recently, when I broke a molar with a large (and old) filling. It wasn’t painful, fortunately, but the realization that I had ignored my dental health for the past 6 years was patently obvious. Had I tended to my teeth back then, when I knew I needed more dental work, I would have avoided much more expensive work now.
For someone who tends to her health so religiously, in terms of diet, exercise and environment, it showed me a real blind spot.
As I inquired into this, I realized that preventive medical/dental care was not part of my family culture (or the times) and as a perpetually sick child, I was already in the hospital and dentist’s office far too often. If something didn’t need fixing immediately, it was put off for as long as possible–largely because the money wasn’t there.
I absorbed this way of dealing with my health and since my teeth weren’t bothering me, I put them on the back-burner. I was totally unconscious about this. Thank you, broken molar!
So, I am off to the dentist tomorrow and I intend to make regular visits to tend to my dental health.
Can’t wait to see my shiny smile in the mirror!
What areas in your life need tending?
Do you have any blind spots? (Ask a friend for help with this!)
Are you treating yourself with kindness and compassion in all areas of your life?