I remember when we were kids my Mom’s diamond earrings went missing. They were little diamond studs, and they meant so much to her – at least in my memory they did. Surely, one of us was playing in her jewelry box and lost them. Took them and misplaced them. Treated them as though they weren’t of value even though they weren’t ours to begin with.
I was reading “The Giving Tree” to my kids a few weeks ago and it clicked. It all clicked. I used to read that book and I didn’t get it, much like no one understands – really understands – motherhood, or loss, or grief, or anything you experience on a level that is so life-changing, so deep, so visceral, that you’re different now than you were before. You were facing East and now, forever, you’ll face West.
Women have been giving, pouring out energy for milenia. It’s so deeply engrained our bones to caretake for others, to bring ourselves down to our bare bones, to let our kids play with our diamonds, that our own pearls get dusty in the mix. We forget that we are of value to ourselves, too. Or at least in our experience as adult women, as mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors – we have found the need to consciously care for ourselves, to return to what we need, too.
We can’t give everything. We can come close, but preservation is important. For you. For them. For us all.
You deserve to be cared for, too.