This year I joined the cult of self-care until I realized that real self-care is not self-indulgence but self-discipline. Sure contemplation and relaxation can be soul food for an impoverished psyche, but when downtime becomes a form of escapism it can have a counterproductive effect. Age should not be the only measure of our time on this earth. Maybe we have to stop taking ourselves so seriously so we can actually get things done. It’s time to stop allowing the big picture to weigh so heavily on our conscience that we feel the need to discover new ways of breathing as if we have not been doing it all along. It’s time to shrink our circle of concerns so we can expand our horizons; to live a more three-dimensional existence.
In other words, it’s time to focus, not on your identity, but on your goals. Not on your feelings but your actions. It’s time for moderation to become a myth and your obsessions to become sacraments. It’s time for you to pummel through and make mistakes, lots of them, and call it progress. It’s time to desensitize yourself to humiliation and relinquish your reputation because, by God, you have things to do! Its time to stop worrying about your image so you can unleash your imagination.
It’s time to stop repenting and start repairing, to stop preaching and start practicing. It’s time to face all your insecurities and to stop measuring yourself up against a standard that does not exist. It’s time to stop taking detours and pick a path, even a wrong one, and see it to its logical or irrational conclusion.
Stop having a disproportionate response to social stimulus and no response to the immediate crisis. And stop saying things like ‘I never had this or that growing up and I turned out okay.’ No, you didn’t. You are not okay. None of us are and that’s okay.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses or the Patels and recognize that people are not actually impressed, they are just pretending to be because its easier to satisfy your ego than to risk accusations of jealousy. They are not jealous, just bored. It’s time to stop confusing attention for respect and stop using status and money as a substitute for self-esteem.
It’s time you stop confusing being overly vocal with being strong and being silent with being wise. It’s time we stop saying “I don’t care what people think, ” because we should care what –good- people think. It’s time people stop saying they are unapologetically something. Stating the obvious makes it less, not more obvious. We know you are not sorry, but saying it makes you sound like you used to be and maybe still are.
It’s time we nourish love in our lives and restore some dignity and honor into our personal relationships with our presence. It’s time to stop saying that our children are the most important thing in our lives and actually act like they are.
It’s time to stop vomiting our emotions at anyone willing to listen and start digesting them until they come out the other way. It’s time to stop mistaking your friend for a therapist and your enemy for a judge. Stop curating your life for public consumption. Popularity is not love.
It’s time to stop googling your symptoms and actually go see a doctor. And lastly, let’s stop debating whether coffee is good or bad for us and just drown ourselves in all its glory. Amen