For a while, I’ve been hearing about the idea of taking care of myself. I have even written posts about the importance of doing so, but it was not until recently that I met the challenge head on. To be completely honest, I am now back to the comfort of my home wondering if the ebb and flow of this issue will ever ease?
Over the last two weeks, I have been surrounded by 16 spirited, joyful, and respectful women. The feeling of fomo (fear of missing out) filled my body when plans would be made for the weekend. I began to sacrifice my own needs, my own desires, and my own techniques of my self-care to be able to create memories with them.
All I desired was to enjoy the opportunities in front of me and not waste my time with them.
Yet if I did that every single time, they would not be getting to know the true Courtney Marie Wetzel. They would encounter a version of Courtney who is on edge, weary, and insecure. The version of Courtney that deprives herself of what she needs so she can sprint the pace that is set around her.
There was tension growing in me. The urge to fall back on the comfort of what was known and easy was in a tug of war with what could push me to grow. Being an intellectual thinker, countless scenarios raced in my mind as I clashed within myself.
From the very beginning, these women set the standard of freedom for each of us so that we might fight for our own needs.
To fight for the food we needed to nourish our body the best. To fight for the door code in order to go running every single morning. To fight for alone time to read and write and just close my tired eyes while everyone else leaves to go to enjoy their afternoon. The freedom was placed right before me, yet there was resistance and trouble in my heart.
During the end of my time in college, I saw the freedom of self care that I sought after and quickly held on. I do believe in the line between holding on tightly and staying in comfort versus pushing yourself, but we do not need to push ourselves to the point of deprivation that causes us to sacrifice our own self.
Obviously, I have not figured out the balance. In this new stage in my life, I have to let go of what I have previously seen to work and create a new agenda for myself in order to fight for my own type of care.
One night, my new friend, Tara Rooney, took me aside and looked me dead in the eyes. She told me that it can be hard to fight for yourself, but that I need to learn to do it. It is not selfish to do so, but what we need to do is evaluate our inner being to see what we may truly need. What helped me the most was for her to tell me, “I can remind you if you need me to.” That moment there, she invited herself into my own battle of fighting for freedom of self care.
It was a Friday night during training that made me realize that I needed to stop and look inward to see what I needed in that moment to be the best Courtney I could be for others. So finally, I filtered through the muck to see what my heart and body was deprived of.
Though I know that we must not stay where we are comfortable, but figuring out how to get uncomfortable in a way that is best for me will take time.
What I do know right now is that I am able to recognize this need, and when I am not able, I have Tara and many others who can point it out clear as day. It is evident that there are friends that will gently point me like a sweet dad does to his child when looking at a pond while fishing. This is what I see.
Ultimately, it really is not up to our own strength to find the rest we desire. For myself, I know the sweet relief that He brings to my weary soul. It is the knowledge of knowing myself well, to recognize the deep cries in my heart to assess what I need and bring it to Jesus. His sweet refuge and comfort is far greater than any run I can go on or any book that I can read. But what I know is that I can invite Him into those runs and books to experience His rejuvenation. Because realistically, it is not the run that is my cure. It is His ever knowing and loving pursuit after His Daughter that heals my weary soul.
Dear friends, evaluate yourself to see what you need. Yet I say, find those life giving moments that the Lord has freely given you. Write those down and hold them close. Do not compromise yourself. What is good for other people may not be good for you. BE OKAY WITH THAT. What are those areas dear friends? As I am figuring this out for myself, I want to be in on your journey as well.