A few months ago, I flipped over my flip-flops – don’t ask what I was doing at the time! This could have been funny had it not been that I managed to incur a deep gash to my big toe. I remember wondering whether I needed to see a doctor, the gash was deep; a flap of skin like a coffee-top lid had somehow appeared. I puzzled over how it could be stitched so close to my nail; and I decided to leave it be.
With my sister and brother-in-law staying with me, I put on a band-aid, and got on with having fun.
A week later, my toe was badly infected. A course of antibiotics was prescribed. A month later, there was further infection. More antibiotics. And last week, some tiny slithers of broken nail were found embedded deep within the skin, which had caused further infection.
Having a sore toe seems like such a little thing, almost embarrassing to mention. Yet, the throbbing from the infection is something I will not forget. By not taking care of myself, I had let a minor injury fester.
Of course, there are no such things as accidents, and going beyond the physical, my learning was about what my soul was calling me to pay attention to as I stepped forward – where in life I was tripping myself up.
The immediate question perhaps is – How easy it is to forget to take care of our self and put others first? Is this one of your traits? Many of us carry the belief that it’s good to be kind and nice and put others first. When we do this, the benefit is that we feel needed. The flip-side is that our boundaries can become wishy-washy, we can’t say ‘no’, we do too much, become silently resentful, and can even forget who we are.
As I step forward into 2015, I am letting go of this habit that continually trips me up. What about you?
I dare you to put yourself first!