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Don’t Set Yourself on Fire

Are you weary? Stressed out?

Are you trying too hard – sacrificing yourself and your own needs trying to take care of everyone else?

Have you gotten so good at taking care of others needs that you deny your own?

There is a saying that makes me smile. It goes something like this:

“You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”

self care is the most important thing do for yourself firstMoms, we are so good at this! Not only do we set ourselves on fire, the other person isn’t even asking us to keep them warm!

Let me tell you something that I believe to be true. When you try too hard, it doesn’t work. It’s never worth sacrificing your own needs to take care of someone else. You have to put on your own oxygen mask first and then you can better care for others.

Can I recommend you doing something right now?

Stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breath and then another. Relax. Take the time right now to check in with yourself. What are you feeling? Do you notice where you are carrying your stress? If you stop trying so hard to meet everyone else’s needs, what would you do to take care of yourself?

I love the verse in the Bible where Jesus says:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NLT) Matthew 11:28-30

It is funny to me that a yoke is for a donkey! Do you think he could have been specifically talking to moms of tweens and teens?! I don’t know about you but I often feel like a pack mule carrying around everybody else’s emotional junk!

When we carry heavy burdens they are like boulders we carry in heavy backpacks. Here we are invited to come, take off our backpacks, dump our heavy rocks, and rest. How awesome is that?! We are offered rest for our souls. It is unconditionally given. And if we don’t know how to find rest, we will be gently taught. How often are you gentle with yourself when you’re trying to learn something new? As I write this, I feel my shoulder tension release. Do you? Most days I go through my day with my shoulders pressed to my ears!

What are your boulders?

Worry? Anxiety? Hurt? Disappointment? Frustration? Scarcity? Something else?

Lay them down and find rest for your soul.

What does your soul need? What would feel good? What would it feel like to be nurtured? What would you make more time for?

Write down what you need. Today, take off your burdens and place them in the hands of God and the Universe. Open yourself up to receive what you need.

Questions—What are you carrying around that is weighing you down? What is one thing you think you need that would be taking care of yourself?

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