There’s a level of slavery much more insidious than owing our souls to the company store. There’s self-slavery, an inner master lording it over an inner slave. That sounds harsh, but the way we sometimes treat ourselves, our dismissive attitude toward self-care, deserves that blunt assessment.
Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe everybody else has figured this out, takes excellent care of themselves, doesn’t fall into the trap of constantly “doing” to sustain a self-imposed standard, even when our entire being is shrieking for respite.
I can cease and desist when I realize I’m overdoing it for the family (also known as codependence—chronically putting others’ needs before your own). That behavior is easy to recognize and mitigate. Dealing with the inner taskmaster that pushes me to make things better, however I might interpret that, is quite another matter. This inner compulsion to continually tweak things because I want them to be just so feels like a final frontier in my slog toward putting myself first.
Since I cringe even writing those words, I must still have a long way to go on that quest.
A few days ago, the thought floated through my head: slaves aren’t allowed to sit. A while later: don’t show that you’re hurting, defective slaves are replaceable.
What I know about real slaves in antiquity could fit in a thimble. I was having a mostly stealth inner dialogue about why I needed to finish something before I could sit, when that first thought popped into mind, pointing to the subconscious belief that prevented me from resting when I really needed to. Slaves aren’t allowed to sit.
Watching my cat disguising his discomfort by pretending to feel okay prompted the second thought. Animals will go to great lengths to hide illness or weakness, lest they become prey. The knowledge (or remembrance or imagining) that this, too, was the lot of slaves, occurred to me shortly after. Unless one were a slave with special characteristics or skills, one human body was easily replaceable with another, younger, healthier one. Showing weakness as a slave must have been tantamount to a death sentence.
It’s alarming to realize how insidiously entwined within my psyche is the unsupported-by-evidence, yet unshakable, conviction that I am a slave. Of course I’m not, not really. Of course I have free will. I am sovereign, I choose my activities, nobody is standing over me with a whip. And so on and so forth.
I’ve often wondered what exactly I haven’t learned from my (possibly soul contract) experience of discomfort, these last eight years. Discomfort that pushes me to sit and do nothing as much as possible—frequently a losing battle, and never my first choice. If something needs doing, I feel compelled to do it, not “rest” while fruitlessly wishing someone else would take care of it.
If this has been a monumental prank played by Universe to get me to lighten up and relax, I find it unamusing. Perhaps Universe had to use a two-by-four to get my attention, while I would much prefer a feather tickling my brow.
Keeping that two-by-four in mind, I decided that a respectful interrogation of self was in order. Also, gently reminding myself that I am not a slave, but a free, sovereign, and beloved being, would help.
I long for the ease and true freedom of automatically following my heart, which always knows what I “should” be doing. Until that day—perhaps in 5D?—posting pink sticky notes with crooked, hand-drawn hearts, here and there throughout my abode, should suffice.
The image of a heart will be a fine and eloquent reminder. I don’t need the words.