I thought that subject header might get your attention.. I'm not usually one to "publicly" comparemen and women, (seems like bad form) but I want to share a sentiment with you that I recently read.
It's from Dr. Habib Sadeghi and it really spoke to me.
It's about selflessness and neglect, and what it does to us.
He commented on women in certain communities who all seem to get breast cancer...
Hmmm, sound familiar? Marin. read on:
(Dr. Sadegh article excerpted below)
"AFTER SEEING THOUSANDS OF PATIENTS OVER MY CAREER, AND GOING THROUGH CANCER MYSELF, I CAN TELL YOU THAT UNRESOLVED EMOTIONAL PAIN AND UNEXPRESSED DESIRES ARE AT THE CORE OF WHAT I CALL "DIS-EASE"
OR A BODY-MIND THAT'S NOT AT EASE.
I'm not alone on this: Physicians from around the world have gathered anecdotal evidence that suggests that patients with similar past traumas or present life situations tend to develop the same illnesses. While formal research has yet to be conducted into this phenomenon, one of the most prevalent examples is breast cancer and "selfless" women. When I say selfless, I mean women who are constantly putting themselves last on the To Do list, or worse, not putting themselves on the list at all. They'll cancel their own plans to help a friend move, work an extra shift so someone else can take the day off, organize the church bake sale, run the PTA fundraiser, chauffeur the kids to basketball and ballet practice, and do about ten other things simply because no one else will. Individual acts of kindness are always appreciated, but obsessively helping to the point where you're neglecting your own needs is a prescription for illness. The theory holds that women who live only to serve and nourish the lives of others develop subconscious resentment because no nourishment is coming back to them-without replenishment they become emotionally depleted. Is it just a coincidence that these women often develop cancer in the most nourishing organ of the female body, the breast? I don't think so.
A LESSON FROM MEN
CREATING A TIME, PLACE OR ENVIRONMENT-THAT'S JUST FOR YOU IS AN ESSENTIAL WAY TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL, PROCESS EMOTIONS, AND EXPERIENCE SPIRITUAL GROWTH. HOW AND WHERE YOU DO IT ISN'T NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS THAT YOU DO IT ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK.
It could be as simple as finding a chair you love in your home and making it the place you go to read a book, listen to music, meditate, or anything else that fills you back up. You could pick a spot under your favorite tree in the backyard or a room in the house that you love but rarely have time to enjoy. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do as long as it has emotional resonance for you, and you won't be disturbed for 10 to 20 minutes.
Many women know it well. Perhaps your boyfriend or husband has one in your home: It's the place in the house where a man sets up his territory. It's only for him and he goes there to spend time by himself doing things he loves that are nurturing for him-the practice putting green, the video game console, the basement with a big screen TV and NFL posters all over the walls, the woodshed in the backyard full of parts and mechanical gadgets he loves to tinker with. Because men are much better at being single-minded-I mean this as a compliment-it's easier for them to focus on one thing at a time and give it their full attention, especially when that object of attention is themselves.
On the other hand, women are much better at multi-tasking than men. Spend just a few minutes with a mother of young children on a Monday morning and you'll be astonished how many tasks she can perform and complete at the same time so quickly.
While this gift makes women incredibly efficient, it creates a challenge when the time comes to drop everything and focus on themselves. Of course, adding to the problem is the misconception that their primary purpose is to serve others. It's not.
IT'S TIME WOMEN TAKE A PAGE FROM THE GUYS' PLAYBOOK AND LEARN THAT THE RIGHT KIND OF SELFISHNESS IS NEVER A BAD THING.
The primary purpose of women, and the rest of us, is to serve ourselves first. We've all heard the flight attendant explain that in the event of an emergency, you must secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. During a real emergency, you'd be able to help a lot more people while still breathing rather than having passed out from smoke inhalation first. The same could be said for daily life. When you spend time filling yourself up with the joy of things that matter to you, then you have more than enough love and joy to give to everyone else. Spending time doing things just for yourself will make you a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, committee member, community organizer, and whatever other role you play in your life. Feeding the soul in this way is so important that I call it "spiritual nutrition" and actually prescribe it for my patients. I also refer to it as "selfless selfishness" because giving to yourself first is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give to those you love.
Remember to pick a time and place that is significant to you and that you can regularly commit to at least once a week. I've chosen Tuesday mornings at 9:00am. It was 17 years ago that I was wheeled into an operating room for cancer surgery on a Tuesday and just as the doors closed behind me, I noticed a wall clock showing it was 9:00am. Long ago, I chose to dissolve the connotation of fear from that experience by scheduling my healing womb at exactly the same time. My place is a special area of my backyard where I meditate. A lot of the time, I'll envision myself as a child looking up towards the sky and offer comfort to that little boy regarding any fears he might still be carrying today.
IT'S MY TIME TO DO SPECIAL THINGS THAT NOURISH THE CHILD INSIDE OF ME THAT UNFORTUNATELY SAW HIS NEEDS NEGLECTED SO LONG AGO.
Taking care of ourselves, especially in such an intimate way, isn't always easy. Do your best to resist false feelings of guilt and create an environment with activities that are especially pleasurable to you, things that put you back in touch with the parts of you that aren't mom, wife, etc. When we learn the art of self-love-even in the smallest, briefest moments-we incubate our souls in preparation for the birth of a greater, truer version of ourselves that we always knew we could be."
Dr. Habib Sadeghi
Sounds like an excellent plan, and not just for women. For all of us.
For me, this isn't necessarily sitting and meditating. I admire people who do this so easily, but in all honesty sitting quietly doing nothing for me is HARD WORK!
Maybe I'll evolve?
I love to read my book in my favorite spot in the house--where the sun comes through that window.
The kids are at school, the house is empty and I disconnect from everyone for at least an hour.
(20 mins is never enough!)
It always feels like a guilty pleasure, I know I should be cleaning (?!) or something else,
but who knew--
maybe I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.
I'd love to hear where your place is..
On your side, always--