Why “Nurturing” is Not Synonymous with “Codependent”

Remember when I wrote about dichotomous thinking? Well this is a perfect example.

Upright, the Empress is the pinnacle of femininity, mothering, abundance, and giving. Reversed she is codependent and blocked creatively.

They are two sides of the same card, but that does not mean there isn’t  happy medium.

When I started to heal from my codependent habits, I thought that these two words were synonymous. And that was a huge problem for me, because I am a nurturer. This left me feeling highly confused. How do I foster my nurturing demeanor without losing myself in codependency.

Well, did you guess it?

It’s obviously boundaries.

You can be a caring person who wants to cultivate relationships WITHOUT losing yourself. For example, when I was with my infamous ex, I lent him so much money (aside from what he stole from me) that I couldn’t care for myself. This wasn’t helping out a trusted friend in a time of need with money I had to spare. This was giving out more than I could afford from fear of losing him.

See the difference?

I cannot stress this enough: TAKE CARE OF NUMBER ONE. You are the most important person in your life and you are the only one responsible for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t care for a significant other when they are sick by bringing them chicken soup and holding their head, but it does mean you can’t miss a ton of work to dote on them when you already can’t afford your rent.

I know that my examples are always pretty extreme, but bare with me here. This could be the path you are going down if someone’s well being means more than your own. This is an age of independence and mutual love. Two people walking down separate paths that merge together for an equally enjoyable partnership. Not one person jumping on the others and taking over to the point that their original path has disappeared. Control and codependency are pretty synced up here, and you have no business routing another persons journey, especially when it’s to dodge your own.

Being a nurturer is an amazing feminine quality. Celebrating femininity and what makes us differently special is an important and notable idea. Just remember, that you are the most important person that needs caring for. This is why, in airplane safety speeches, they say to fasten your mask first before helping another. You’re no good to anyone when you’re unconscious. Nurture yourself first, before you can nurture others. Stay caring, and stay witchy ( *)

What Does Taking Care of Yourself ACTUALLY Mean?

highpriestess

When we go through hard times, people like to reach out in comfort and say “Just take care of yourself.” People throw around this phrase often, but when you are lost, hurt, and seemingly alone, it’s hard to understand what that actually means.

After my infamous breakup, I found out that I had lost myself so much that I needed physical, step by step instructions on how to bounce back. I didn’t know up from down, or how to operate in a “normal” way. And when people said this shit to me I just looked at them confused.

My world was physical. So I took it to mean that I should get back into exercising and change my diet. Take bubble baths and paint my toes. Do weekly face masks so my skin could be radiant. Basically things to make me an attractive mate to someone new. At least that is what it meant to me.

But when all of these superficial band-aids left me feeling just as empty and confused, I started to look deeper. When was all this “taking care of myself” bullshit going to manifest into a new and perfect life? Why wasn’t this working for me??

Well, when people say “take care of yourself” (and sometimes they don’t even know this) they mean to take care of that sad little girl inside of you that got you in this mess in the first place. They mean to stroke her hair and tell her its OK. And you do that through therapy, group meetings, extending your education, starting hobbies, all in the pursuit of getting to know her.

Be your own High Priestess. Be the guardian of your own subconscious. Hug yourself when you feel sad and ask yourself what is so painful.

I reflected on my life today while doing my morning yoga practice. Not but a year ago I was sleeping until 4pm, rolling out of bed to touch up my smudged winged eyeliner, and throwing on whatever I could find to get to work. Then I would drink all night, make an ass of myself, and do it all over again the next day.

Now I wake up early, make some coffee while I watch the news, exercise, practice tarot, learn German, and write, all before I get to work. I have an actual DAY to start with hobbies I enjoy. I read on the train instead of fluttering hungover eyes trying to stay awake. I live with purpose because I cherish myself. I’ve built a multi-dimensional person who has a well rounded life. All because I woke up, got to know my inner sad girl, held her hand, and worked with her to create a life of our own. No longer do I waste away in sadness, looking for my missing piece. I have all the pieces. Just not all of them were taken care of.

So when people tell you to take care of yourself, look inside at all of the parts of you and see who is crying out for attention. That is what you take care of. The superficial stuff is just that. Superficial. Although, a bubble bath never hurt anyone either. Stay witchy, and take care ( *)