Yeah, I said it. Did I mean it it? Well, kind of…
There was a Tom Hanks movie a few years back, where he was playing an FBI agent. He was with two other agents, and they just kept playing games. While in the car, they were telling jokes. They finally said to Tom, “I would love to hear you tell a joke.” Tom said “Knock knock?” They of course said “Who is there?” Tom said” Go fuck yourself.” I thought, brilliant! When you’re in your head, when you’re trying to do the right thing, don’t let anyone or anything distract you. And now that I got your attention, let’s talk about self-care.
I have a legendary self-care regiment. But what happens when someone tries to interrupt or distract me? The words go fuck yourself come to mind. I don’t say it. But if I have to continue to tell you, chances are, I won’t allow you to stay in my circle. It’s not that I don’t care for you, but I really don’t put much before self-care. I remember many, many years ago when I first got married, I told my wife I had one request. I told her that if a door is closed, do not disturb me unless it is a true emergency. I put long hours in every day. When I need to shut the engine down, I really do. Spending 35 years in mental health, I give till it is all gone. And then I try and give some more. When it’s truly gone, I want you to be gone. And I say that with love.
We need to normalize self-care. And we need not feel guilty when we need a minute. “No” is a perfectly acceptable answer. No other explanation needs to be provided. I love the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” To me it symbolizes exhaustion. When there is nothing inside, all you have is an empty container. It’s value and purpose is the content. Sure, it may look beautiful. But when empty, it is not functional. I think the same holds true for us. What we hold inside make us valuable. The love, peace and faith. And when we are deficient, we have a hard time functioning. And that is why our self-care is worth protecting.
Whatever brings you joy, happiness or what you hold sacred, protect it. This is an affirmation that you matter. Which is something that we often overlook. People have lost the ability to honor boundaries. Have you ever had someone email you, and if you don’t immediately respond, they text? God forbid you don’t don’t reply in real time and then they call. This shit needs to stop. And it is okay to have that conversation. Your mental, physical and spiritual health are far too important to be interrupted by peoples inability to deal with their instant gratification. Advocate for yourself.
At the end of the day, all of your relationships will fail if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself. And just how does one do that. Well, there are many ways. But sometimes, the only way they will hear you is if you say “Go fuck yourself.” Don’t be afraid to say it.