As women, we are amazing at tending to others. In all its forms, mothering is about nurturing those people, places and creatures we love. It's our innate ability to nourish and bolster that brings such pleasure and satisfaction. Yet, we can get lost in this giving process, so much so that we forget to place ourselves in the hands of others. I like to call this "othering", the natural complement to mothering. Just as there is sweet and salty, day and night, there is a balance that comes from giving and receiving.
Self care is not a solo endeavor. In reality, to create any change in your life or refill your gas tank, it takes a community, a circle of support around you. Letting a friend cook you dinner. Scheduling a massage so you can drink in some healing touch. Sitting in church or under a tree, letting a higher presence take the reigns for a while. Talking with a loved one who lets you put down the burdens you've shouldered. This can be a challenge for many of us who pride ourselves on being of service. Yet without receiving, we quietly sacrifice our own desires and deep need to be loved and cared for, too.
Handing yourself over to the care of someone - or something - outside of you is sometimes the best tender loving care you can receive. It's that moment of relief, knowing you don't have to carry it all on your own. It reminds us we are human. That vulnerability can be hard, but is it not the same vulnerability we see and nurture in others? Receiving the support of your tribe, your support network, is just as important as every act of kindness and compassion you divine to others.