“Stay with yourself.”
That’s what my therapist told me during a marriage counseling session several years ago.
I had been complaining about my husband. I felt he was always moving faster than me when we went places together. He would already be in the car when I wasn’t done putting cream + sugar in my coffee. He seemed to be constantly walking ahead of me.
I was bothered. I wanted him to slow down so I wouldn’t feel constantly ditched.
As I told all this to my therapist he suggested I stop worrying about what my husband was doing and instead think about what I wanted + needed.
Did I want to take time to put cream + sugar in my coffee the way I liked it? Or did I want to abandon that little pleasure because I felt the need to be where someone else was?
“Stay with yourself.”
That was a revolutionary thing to hear. It stopped me in my tracks. I was putting my joy + wellbeing in the hands of others. I started asking: What would it be like if I enjoyed my own company, went at my own pace, and found happiness in the process?
This led me to listen more deeply to my needs + wants. I started slowing down and being present with myself. I began to feel more centered, calm, happy, and loving.
Shortly after this life-mind-altering therapy session I had a rare evening by myself at home. I snuggled down with a movie + snacks. Mid-way through the movie I decided to make a sandwich but felt I should be quick about it. I rushed into the kitchen, slapped cold chicken between two plain slices of bread and started heading back to my movie.
I quickly realized I was about to eat a really shitty sandwich. Why was I in such a hurry to get back to my paused movie?
I took my shitty sandwich back to the kitchen and I made it into a great sandwich. Much better. I continued with my movie feeling immensely satisfied on every level: heart, mind, body, soul.
Stay with yourself.
It applies to everything EVER. It’s a mantra. A lifestyle. Away of BEing. And now a website.
Slowdown. Breathe. BE. Remember:
“Here I am, where I ought to be.” -Louise Erdrich
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you are valuable and worth honoring.