I don't do well with self-care when I'm sick or wounded. Recently I put a large hole into my hand (don't ask). I simply poured a dollop of rubbing alcohol into the wound and kept going.
It didn't seem like much, and even when the hand swelled up to twice its normal size (it got infected) I just opened the hole to let it drain. I also tried to keep it concealed; no point in causing undue concern, right?
Wrong. When my wife saw it, she was horrified., and asked what I was was planning to do if I lost the hand.
I joked that I'd just build myself a hook and keep going. I didn't think there was much chance of that happening, and I wasn't too concerned.
Boy, was that the wrong thing to say.
Exit wife, followed by a slammed door, but not before she said this:
"If you don't care for yourself, there will come a time when others decide that you're not worth their compassion, either. Keep pushing people away, and one day they will stay away."
She's right. My response was keyed to who and what I am, and that does not square with most people. It's not that I'm stronger or 'better'; my life experiences have made me different.
But different or not, it's incumbent on me to understand others' perspectives, and to be respectful of them. I can expect myself to take physical pain and keep going, with blood running down my arm...but not to take others' feelings into account, especially those of my wife, is simply thoughtless.
I don't have to change what I am, but I do have to learn to see and value myself as others do.
I am valued, for one thing...and being uncaring toward myself invites the question, "What will he do if I'm hurt? Will he even care?"
Ashleigh Brilliant wrote, "No man is an island but some of us are rather long peninsulas".
True. But we have to maintain that contact, because the alternative is not only the loss of the support we all need...it's the loss of what we can contribute when we lose the trust of those around us.
The trust that we care.
Today's post is my contribution to the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association October Blog Challenge - Words of Wisdom. This week it's "Words of Wisdom from Family".
Please click on the link below to visit other blogs taking the challenge - you'll fin a ton of enrichment for your marriage!