“They” say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Why do I continue purchasing this same brand of bath puff, at a super cheap price, when each time it unravels after only a couple of weeks? As I showered today I thought more deeply about this conundrum and realized that my bath puff is the metaphor for my life, reminding me of my darker emotions, which also seem to follow a cycle of unraveling and unrest when I do not take the necessary time to invest in my self-care.
Let me explain.
When we have a little “extra money,” we rationalize, we will splurge on a nicer bath puff. The truth is, we can always “afford” a little extra on our bath puff. The richer texture of the tightly woven bath puff shows us its strength in months of really efficient showers, durability, etc. The puff does not catch and pull at my imperfect skin and overall my experience is much smoother and I exit the shower feeling that I am okay. Despite the fact that we have a small shower and it seems squished, I always seem to feel better knowing my puff has lasted long and is not letting us down.
Metaphorically speaking, my purchasing of a perfect bath puff is proportionate to the self-care actions that I incorporate (or not) into my life. Things are not always perfect, challenges abound, life happens, stress is there, pain is inevitable. However, when I take the time to invest…invest being the key word…in my self-care and my life, the results that follow are fruitful, beautiful and contain that longevity that I am seeking.
Sometimes I slack in my life. I do not follow my self-care regimens and practices as well as I should or as consistently as I would like. I “forget” to set aside time in the morning to read my daily reflections or meditate for a bit. I stay up later than I should because I fed my disease and had coffee just a little too late in the afternoon after justifying it to myself or whining to my wife that I really needed it. I stopped holding myself accountable. As I become more and more lackadaisical in the actions of taking care of myself and investing in myself, I notice my life slowly unraveling. Things that would not normally agitate me, now begin to become a big deal. I find myself crying more, increasingly emotional over things like forgetting to return my library books on time or not having tater tots in the house when I was craving them real bad. I have a short temper and people around me notice.
My life-lesson here is that the quality of my bath puff is relative to the quality of my spiritual life. When I invest more time and money in selecting the perfect bath puff, one that I know will be durable, hold up during tougher times, hotter water, and muddier days, I know it will not unravel anytime soon. It will take a while to need replacement and virtually never unravels. Additonally, when I invest more time in the quality of selecting my morning readings, making time to slow down, writing a gratitude list, etc., I notice that I, too, never unravel.
Regarding my life, self-care, daily maintenance of my spiritual condition, I can truly state that the more I invest in this department of my life, the longer my sanity lasts. I have an innate feeling of being okay no matter how difficult things get. I suddenly have this aura of resilience that never really seemed apparent before. I know that I put stock, effort, quality time and a spiritual deposit of sorts into my psychological future. I am less likely to unravel at times of stress and crisis. Traffic jams suddenly seem less daunting and people don’t seem to suck at all actually. I become patience, loving and kind which is not always something that comes natural to me in times of stress and aggravation. I find that I do not have the urge to smash stuff.
I know that this may seem silly to some, however, I like to break things down into the little epiphanies that they are in my life. I enjoy celebrating my tiny “Aha” moments and internalizing my truth, which for me, is that I will be alright no matter what. I also have made a conscious decision that I will never purchase another bath puff at the dollar store again.