A Strong Independent Woman
I don't know who sent me this little cartoon, but it really struck a chord with me. It's to do with a lesson I've learned (very belatedly) during this whole COVID-19 episode. You see, I have always equated recieving help as being pampered. Silly I know. Maybe it was my upbringing that forced me to become so fiercely independent, but I've finally figured out how much of a disservice I've been doing myself.
You see it wasn't actually the pandemic that stopped me in my tracks - in fact living on a farm and enjoying being isolated anyway, it really had the opposite effect. I went in to overdrive. Working more, supporting other people and actually quite enjoying myself and getting sooooo much done. "I don't need other people around me anyway." was my way of thinking. So the universe (or my higher self) kind of decided that I needed to learn an important lesson.
One day whilst home alone, taking my dog for a walk, I tripped down the front step injuring my foot. I couldn't stand myself back up and Hector the Cavoodle was careening out towards the road, dragging his lead behind him. My first thought was for Hector and I tried to call him back to me, but I must have frightened him when I fell and he would not come when called. I dragged myself off the steps and onto the grass and lay down having the idea that he would want to lick my face and play. This he did and I managed to secure his lead to the veranda post. I then realised that I didn't have my mobile phone with me to call for help, but as luck would have it, I had had a call earlier on my landline, and taken it outside to talk. Instead of putting the phone back in its cradle, I had just opened the flyscreen and placed the phone on the floor, just inside. I managed to crawl back up the steps and call my husband at work. Now, being the "strong independent woman" that I am, I had NEVER in the 40 years we've been together, asked him for help during my long periods of illness or my many silly injuries. Therefore, it came as a bit of a shock to me that now that I'm not as young as I used to be, I quite possibly would have to ask him to help me stand up (and God forbid, more). He, poor thing, is the kind that hides away, or puts up a barrier when confronted with any kind of ill health or suffering, so I saved him the worry and called an ambulance. These lovely paramedics were so kind and helpful. They splinted my foot, carried me to the ambulance and hubby met us at the hospital.
A few hours, xrays and consultations later I was dispatched home with a pair of crutches and instructions to keep off my foot for two weeks and to then have more Xrays. Turns out I had torn all the ligaments quite severely, pulled the muscles and tendons and ended up with a beautifully multi coloured foot. This would mean weeks, if not months of time off it.
Although it wasn't broken I was in quite a lot of pain but the worst of it??? It began to look as though I would have to ask my husband for help with cooking, cleaning, walking the dog. I knew he wouldn't do anything without being asked. He just wasn't used to it and I wasn't used to asking. Consequently, I tried to do everything I could and spent a good few days in tears.
Over the few months prior I had been doing quite a lot of work on self love and self worth and at the end of the first week, when I finally allowed myself to accept that I HAD actually injured myself severely and it wasn't just my imagination, I had an epiphany. What if asking for help and allowing people to help you is part of self love and self worth? Had all of this happened to me to make me realise that I didn't know how to love myself, to honour my body and to give myself time? And do you know? As soon as I made this realisation, the energy changed. Something changed in my husband too. I didn't even need to ask for help any more. He was offering and I was allowing.
It's been two months now since I injured my foot and although i am pushing myself to heal quickly, I've been honouring myself and allowing people to help me. I think it's brought my husband and I closer together too. I'm back on my feet again now, and although still in a little pain (though this is nothing new for me) Hector and I are walking twice a day. I am quite sure that my husband secretly enjoyed his walks with the dog, but he says he doesn't miss them. He gets enough exercise on the farm.
Anyway - Message to self!!!! Accepting help is NOT the same as being pampered.
I love myself unconditionally, I deserve the best in life. I AM love.
I'm Jane Marin, artist, illustrator, writer, self confessed eclectic bohemian. Follow me and my musings right here on my blog.