My Leap List

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Honoring Myself

     My daughter and I share so many things, including Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  In trying to prove my own self-worth, I have taught my daughter to dishonor herself.
     I have taught her to ignore her body's signals and power through the pain and fatigue because she sees me do that every day.  She pushes until her body collapses and then feels like a failure because she can't keep going.
     By always saying "yes" to everything, I have taught her to put herself last on the list because that is what I do to myself.  By not saying "no" to anything, I show her that everything is an emergency.  It wears you down to try to complete an endless list day after day.
     She has watched me run myself ragged.  She's learned not to ask me for things she needs so she doesn't add to my stress.  She has become a perfect mini-adult to help out in my absence.  Her love for me keeps her from the things she needs from her mom.
     I am definitely the wrong person to come to her today and ask her to honor herself and ask for the help she needs.  Cute girl she is, she agreed, even though it was incredibly hard for her to do.
     So, today I am learning from her. I was offered a scholarship today to renew my national board certification, and I almost e-mailed a "yes" immediately.  Then I realized that this wouldn't change me as a teacher or impact my students.  It already did that the first time.  However, it would take many hours of time and energy and focus and little sleep...all the things I am asking Mandy to stop doing.  I would be doing it for the prestige and the honor and the approval of people who really don't care and sacrificing myself in the process.  I realized that it is time to honor myself and say yes to things for the right reasons for a change.  Thank you, baby, for helping me learn a powerful lesson today.

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