Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Tuning In, Giving Up
Third trimester hits and I'm slowing down. It's evidenced in ways little and big. Rolling to my side before sitting up in bed each morning, easing my way through those first few uncertain steps as my body pops back into place and remembers how to move.
Self care is always a tricky subject for me because I feel like it's one of those areas where it's easy to cross the line, from meeting actual needs to self important pampering. I stand my ground with my "life is service, service is work, work is good" mantra most days, but these later weeks of pregnancy pose a challenge to me each time. I become acutely aware that, in the coming weeks, the person who may need my compassion and attention is - myself.
Sometimes the hardest person for me to extend compassion to is my own self. These mercies are not difficult for me to show others. When I see other Mamas struggling through various seasons, I'm the first to tell them to slow it down, take care of themselves, let others love on them. Why, then, do I resist it so much?
Pregnancy puts me in a place of needing to be on the receiving end of acts of mercy and service, an it sends any puffed up pride of mine tumbling. That protestant work ethic is hard to shake at a time like this, and the dread of laziness holds me fast. It's a humbling thing for a "doer" like me to reluctantly hand the reins over to someone else for a time, even when intellectually I know it is the right thing for now. It reminds me that I am not the sum worth of what chores I accomplished today. I am more than a series of check marks down a list of to-dos. I am more than what I do or fail to do.
I know this. I believe this. Yet somehow that sinful pride of needing to earn worth keeps cropping up. Seven babies in and it's still a lesson I'm learning. A fight to the death of the pride that keeps me down. Isn't that the way of it? Pride feels like it lifts you in importance, when really? It binds you in chains, making you a slave of your own works, struggling to measure up to an impossible standard.
So, I tune in to what I need, fiercely guarded against any guilt that may fall across my path. I go to bed early and sleep as much as I possibly can following long showers to relax my tired and aching body. I swallow my reluctance and ask for help and feel the glow of gratitude when the people around me rush to my aid. I let myself be loved and cared for. I sit with my dependence and recognize that there is much to learn from this season of life.
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