How many times have you heard “you have to take care of yourself before you can care for another?” Therapists love to use the example of how passengers on an airplane are instructed to put their own breathing mask on first, before that of their children. After all, what good are you to anyone else if you’re incapacitated? But showing up is more than just about putting your own mask on first. It’s about knowing within that the people and things outside of you cannot give you what you need to give yourself! As guilty as we are at neglecting our own needs, we are equally guilty of expecting someone or something outside of ourselves to meet them for us.
Taking care of yourself first does two things: it helps us to remember that we are already enough and whole as we are and we are worth loving; and secondly, it helps us to show up, be present and GIVE to those we love. Instead of showing up as a hungry ghost, we show up as a full, vibrant being looking to give, not out to see what we can GET.
Similarly, if things get turbulent in our own lives, are we going to project our frantic energy outwards in hopes that others can quell our discomfort, or are we going to go inside and assess the situation first? So much of that pre-binge anxiety is about fear: fear that we can’t handle whatever we are feeling, or fear that we aren’t enough in one way or another. When we remember that we are already whole, then we know that every attempt to go outside of ourselves is futile and irrelevant, because nothing needs repairing!
We only need to come back into ourselves, remember our truth, and breathe. So show up. To show up in any kind of meaningful way in your life, you have to show up for yourself first!