Are you reliable or flaky? Do you white knuckle it through chores or serve with an open heart and mind? Do you feel overwhelmed with life’s daily activities, or is life manageable? How do you treat your friends? Do you show up for yourself the same way you would for a friend in need? If not, this is for you (and me)!
While I have been more intentional about self-compassion over the past few years, The Art of Showing Up, this month’s Book Club selection, revealed a few strongholds that I overlooked.
One of the simplest examples was going to the bathroom when needed instead of holding it to avoid being rude or missing out on something. I remember a few instances this month where I didn’t want to interrupt a conversation or miss a presentation, so I held it. Instead of overthinking the frequency of bathroom visits, I need to go. No one is counting the number of times I exit the room until now, lol. Oddly enough, I usually notice when one person gets up from an audience, a few more do as well. It is almost as if we are waiting on permission. I remind my youngest that she needs to go to the bathroom as soon as she recognizes the signs instead of holding it until she’s wiggling around. Note to self…
One common theme I read ad nauseam in mom’s groups is the desire for friends. One woman will reluctantly post a need; within minutes, 50 women have expressed their matching sentiments. There are some great statistics on friendships in this book, as well as tips for clarifying the type of friendship you seek so you focus on quality over quantity. Similarly, sometimes I am lonely and looking for someone to contact. There are your friends who you can pick up the phone to call whenever you think about them or need to share a funny story. Then there are acquaintances you will talk to when you run into them, but you are not on an impromptu call basis. You don’t know each other’s schedules and are afraid to be vulnerable enough to call or you fear rejection. Of course, texting is safer, but I know I’m not the only one who over-thinks the disappearing dots, lack of an instant response, or a reply that seems uninviting to dig deeper.
For years, I struggled with always wanting to be there for everyone all of the time, even if it meant sacrificing sleep, my health, or family time. Fortunately, over time I realized that I struggled with boundaries and worked on setting boundaries to care for myself, my family, and my friends. While I am still a work in progress in some areas, I have been able to create clear boundaries in other areas of my life. The fruit I experience from that makes it easier for me to follow suit in the areas in which I still struggle.
This month, join me in discussing The Art of Showing Up*. This book is excellent for friends, families, and people of all ages trying to figure out relationships. As we explore self-care this month, here’s a reminder that you don’t need a permission slip to go to the restroom, take a nap, or practice self-compassion. When you show up for yourself, it is much easier to show up for your family and friends also.
*Disclaimer - There is quite a bit of language in this book. If it bothers you to listen to it, maybe you can read over the words. While I’m not a fan of expletives, the content is worth the read.