Each week in The Wisdom of Change blog series, I share the original artwork and unpack the insights and meaning behind one of the 44 cards in The Wisdom of Change oracle deck.
This week’s card is 42 Self Investment
The idea of being a ‘yes’ to myself changed my life completely. Until that time, I had inadvertently spent most of my energy trying to please others. I mistakenly thought that other people would automatically return the favour and invest in me in exactly the way I needed to be nurtured. When I reflect on this now, it makes me smile. How could anyone possibly know how to deliver the set of conditions I require for myself? I was getting nowhere fast with this approach. I felt constantly tired, ill at ease and like there were never enough hours in the day,
In seeking to please others and do what was I thought was the right thing, I wound up being a stream of no’s to myself. I had many agonising deliberations with myself along the lines of ‘I’m really very tired, but I ought to do this thing that someone else wants me to do otherwise I might be seen as selfish, or worse; incompetent’. I lost count of the times I told myself I couldn’t do what I really wanted because I had to do something else (and I’d better be good natured about it!)
The irony is that when we continually put other people’s needs before our own, no one wins. You cannot fill a cup from an empty vessel. Depleting our reserves without paying attention to our own needs is a fast track to burn out and low self-worth. Worse still, as time passes and the more we say no to ourselves, we forget what we really want and what we truly value.
Do you find yourself ‘pushing though’ and doing things for others through well-hidden gritted teeth and a cheery smile?
Laudable on one level perhaps, but a dangerous approach to sustain on a long-term basis. It’s wise to stop and consider what’s really going on. Done the right way, it’s energising to give to others; being in ‘right service’ provides a vehicle for us to be fully expressed and enables us to fulfil our life’s purpose. But I’ll wager that much of the energy you expend on a daily basis does not feel in line with your passion, purpose and mission! I’ll bet much of what you do all day is accompanied by an inner commentary of all the things you are having to ‘put on hold’ while you are busy fulfilling other people’s requirements.
Perhaps without your conscious awareness, resentment is setting in. You are in fact disappointed with yourself for not being there for you, but in the absence of this insight, we think we have resentment towards others. This leads us to feel bitter, put upon and neurotic. The more we try and stuff it down and call ourselves bad for feeling this way, the more our inner wisdom seeks to gain our attention. We feel inexplicable pain somewhere in our body, run up against endless exhausting dramas, feel fearful when we watch the news or hear notifications ping on our devices. Before long we are on our knees, wondering what’s wrong with us and battling with life in general.
Nothing can change until we become a yes to ourselves. It’s the basis of self-investment; to care enough about ourselves to finally turn things on their head and put ourselves at the top of our to do list. It’s about saying ‘I value myself enough to stop this madness’. It’s a knowing deep in your soul, that if the choice is ‘me or something else’ going down the pan, it’s not going to be you.
It’s a bold step, but it’s a necessary one. Until you decide that you are worth the investment, nothing is going to feel in alignment.
Value yourself enough to back your own horse; it’s the best bet you will ever make.
You’ve got this.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s connection to your inner wisdom.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.