Practicing the Art of Self-Worth (Part Two)
During the second night of my new job in the warehouse, I crossed the threshold of being a dedicated company employee and passed deep into the territory of being a foolish steward of my own sacred temple (body). I was now suffering from heat exhaustion. When I left the warehouse last Tuesday at midnight, I remember thinking I would be okay, everything would be okay, I just need to get home and get a good night’s sleep. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. When I crawled into bed after a cool shower, I was so disoriented, nauseous and dehydrated that I never really had a chance at getting even a few hours of sound and restful sleep. Instead, I just kept rolling around, trying to find the magic position that would ease the throbbing in my overheated head and body. I barely slept that night. On Wednesday I tried to recuperate some energy and hydration by drinking as much water and electrolyte sports drinks as I could stomach. Having cut way back on my sugar intake during the past few years, I needed to seek out something other than Gatorade or any of its overly sweet sports drink lookalikes. I’ve learned quite a bit recently about how to take care of my physical health, and that makes last week’s unhealthy decisions even more upsetting. I should not have gone in on Wednesday night, but again, I did.
When I arrived at work on Wednesday, I was well prepared with lots of water and energy drinks, pain medications, and the types of food that my intuition told me I could handle without feeling nauseous. But the one thing that really made a difference was that my outlook and attitude had changed between the moment I fell into bed the previous night and 3:30 PM the following day. Somewhere during those hours, I saw through the conditioned insanity of my wage worker mindset. I had been trying to prove myself to the company and all of my new coworkers, and I’d even been trying to prove to myself that I still possessed the physical prowess I once had, and meanwhile I had somehow forgotten to take care of the physical body that I had been using like a machine to try to prove myself. I am so grateful to be able to recognize the madness in some of my behaviors these days. It took me many years to see with any kind of clarity, the dysfunctional and self-defeating qualities of my own actions and intentions. For me, it has always been extremely helpful to write through the issues I’m up against, so once they are laid out before me, I can pour over them, looking for the moment where my thoughts began to lead me astray. I have almost entirely recovered as I’m writing this today. I’m still feeling some lingering adverse effects from the partially self-inflicted illness which came on a week ago. It looks as though I’ll be continuing on down the winding pathway in this wonderful journey, we call life!
To finish off this exploration into the irrationalities of my own self-defeating behaviors, I would like to make an attempt to move to a higher level of self-care. I’ll do this by touching on the other situation that happened toward the end of last week (the one involving family). Here’s the gist of it. A member of my family, someone that I’ve grown to love and respect, made a series of unhealthy choices and ended up in the hospital. It was a motor vehicle accident. As you would expect, there were attempts at denial and the shifting of blame by this family member, even from the hospital bed, but it was obvious to everyone around this person, that the bulk of the responsibility for what happened was on their shoulders alone. How does this relate to my story about suffering from heat exhaustion? Because we both knew in our hearts that we were making these unhealthy choices, and yet we made them anyway. We can offer ourselves as much self-worth as we want. We can tell ourselves that we are as worthy as anyone else. We can even fool ourselves into believing that we are more worthy than others. But at the end of each moment, we can only accept the amount of self-worth that we’re feeling we deserve.