Svadhyaya: “Know yourself so well that you will grow into your wholeness and greatness.” - C.L.
Running on empty does not make me a pleasant person to live with. Neither does blaming others for my feeling so run down. I was run down because I was working so hard to keep other people happy (or so I told myself). I was run down because I wanted to make sure others knew, and implicated, the best next step for them to take. Ha!!! Like I was an expert on how someone else should live their own life. By a bucket dump of wisdom from others and the gift of grace, I’ve seen how my attempts to “help” have resulted in the gradual whittling away of their autonomy. At the time, it was easier than looking at my own autonomy, my own path, my own stuff.
While I had no problem telling my husband what HE needed to do to make me happy, it was quite unpleasant, to say the least, to realize I couldn’t answer that question for myself. If I take sole responsibility for creating my own happiness, what the heck does that look like? Am I even allowed to give myself space for my own happiness? Don’t I have too much to do to worry about that?
I talked with people I trust and I read…A LOT. Taking complete responsibility for my own happiness requires a major shift in perspective. I began collecting my energy and owning the parts of me I was ignoring. Accepting the task of compiling a daily list of desires, I saw my first adversary was myself. It showed up in that critical voice telling me why this “desire was wrong, that one won’t work, I was crazy for even thinking of that one.” However, how can I be happy if I don’t own what that means for me?
When I own the rights to my own happiness it doesn’t have to mean that every moment is exalted in joy. It does mean that every moment is precious and I have more time to be in the moment. When I treat myself with loving kindness, I suddenly have an abundance of loving kindness to share.
So now when I hear myself say, “if only he/she would…then I would be…,” a big red flag starts flying high. I’m learning to replace it with a new practice. Honor the higher self—in myself and others—and trust that we each have our own ways of meeting this world. I’ve got my own job of taking care of myself. That’s the only way I can really be of help to others.
What can you do today to take care of yourself? Anything from enjoying a hot cup of coffee to a walk with a friend, from a good book to a nap…and of course, gotta make the yoga class plug. There is nothing at all wrong with saying what makes you happy. Own it by saying it.