Earlier in the year I created a group workshop for my clients at work and named it “The Kind Elf”. When I think about the image this phrase invokes, a number of words and images come into my head.
A kindly elf administering care to someone. A team of people providing help to a person in need. Presents being delivered to disadvantaged children. Support. Love. Care.
I’m sure that many of us would be more than willing to help out someone who needed support. Australians are well-known for their mate-ship. We’re famous for it around the globe.
But what about when it comes to ourselves? It seems that while we are forever willing to provide support to others, we hate admitting that we need it ourselves. It takes us to be almost falling apart to recognise that we need to be taken care of. We like to think of ourselves as strong as the energizer bunny. We like to think we have the ability to go and go and go and go, without the need to stop and recharge our energy. We hate to admit any kind of “weakness” (and I use the quote marks deliberately). We beat ourselves up for getting tired and needing rest, and yet we freely acknowledge that other people deserve and need to take some down-time.
So how does that work? If it’s ok for other people to take time out to recharge, why isn’t ok for ourselves? Are we so caught up in the martyrdom that we can’t see the forest for the trees? Are we so arrogant to believe we are above the human condition of needing to rest our bodies?
That probably sounds harsh to a number of you reading this but that is what it essentially comes down to. We are all human beings and our bodies are designed to need rest. We need it to grow new cells, to regenerate skin and organs, to heal. Even to learn.
And yet we allow ourselves to get caught up in the daily grind that is life. We believe the media hype that to be better people we need to do more, strive for more, be more, get more. That unless we run ourselves into the ground we aren’t good enough.
So let’s stop the bullshit right here. We are good enough. YOU are good enough. Simply because you exist. Simply because you breathe the air. You deserve to take care of yourself.
So stand up and claim your birthright.
Be your own kind elf.