How to Choose What is Best over What is Good
As a seven on the Enneagram, my personality type tends to choose fun activities to avoid pain. When I went through my divorce in 2009, I did what people like me do—I stuffed the pain and filled my life and calendar with fun, fun, fun. You might be thinking that sounds like a pretty good plan, but the reality is that if you don’t deal with the grief and issues that caused it all, they just fester. Those problems are still waiting—filling up the corners of my soul.
After this last breakup, I realized if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’m going to keep getting what I’ve always gotten. So, instead of filling up my calendar with entertainment, I signed myself up for a couple of weeks of intense counseling. Sure, there was some fun too — but there was also lots of time alone with myself to handle what had happened. That was the best thing I could do for myself.
The other night, I had spent a wonderful evening at my friend's house — we ate delicious food, chatted, laughed, and poured out the wine. When it was time to go, I felt completely fulfilled. When I got into the car, however, I had to face going home to an empty house—and that was a downer. I didn’t want to deal with that. Typically, this feeling meant that I would turn toward the city to go salsa dancing. You know, perhaps I could exhaust myself with fun so that the daunting task of walking around my home alone would be kept at bay for another few hours. This time, however, I checked in with myself as to what my body needed. I knew I was tired. I knew I needed some rest. And, so this time, I chose what was best over what was diverting.
As women, it’s really hard to choose the best things for ourselves. We often choose family or work, prioritizing everyone and everything else over our health and well-being. Then, we burn out. We’ve got to learn how to treat ourselves with more respect and care.
Also, we often have good intentions of taking care of ourselves but so many cares and needs get our attention instead. We know that we have to be really intentional about it.
So, that’s what I’m inviting you to do right now. Start planning for what is best for you. You’re probably not thinking about fall plans right now with summer just around the corner, so I encourage you to start planning anyway. We have an amazing art retreat in the fall and we’ll be rolling out early bird specials soon.