I grew up believing in caring and valuing others. It has only been in the last few years that I have entertained, let alone embraced the concept of caring for myself: of valuing myself, being kind to myself, treating myself with respect.
I can’t help thinking that this is something I had been longing for at a very deep level since childhood but couldn’t articulate. And now I am free to acknowledge that I need care – and that I have a responsibility to take care of my needs. But not just my needs – my desires, my dreams, the things I value – I have a responsibility of care for those things too. And it is not onerous, it’s a joy, a priviledge to take delight in my own dreams and goals, just as I would the dreams, goals and values of someone else I care about.
Taking time for me reminds me that I too am of value and need to be loved and cherished. And I can love and cherish the little girl I carry inside in a way that perhaps she wasn’t. I can do those things for her that my family and friends were unable to do – I can listen and give her time and attention and care. I can value and honour the little girl I carry inside. I can acknowledge her, and treasure her, and love her.
And I can remember that I am she – and I too deserve the respect, and love and care, the kindness and value and acknowledgement that I offer to others.