I am a few months and a few life lessons away from being a full-fledged adult. Whereas more and more people seem to believe that 30s are the new 20s, in order to justify the fact that they are far from having their life together by that age, I have come to understand that my body and my mind are absolutely determined to make life lessons much tougher to digest and much more difficult to avoid. Until I finally decide that it is time to take full accountability for my actions, walk the talk and act the part of a responsible grown-up.
Therefore, the past few days have been peppered with essential lessons on maturity, covering a wide spectrum of experiences, ranging from overcoming mindlessness, to practicing self-love, to allowing myself time to recalibrate into my higher power and my higher sense of self, and culminating with physical manifestations of my newly acquired wisdom.
It all started last Thursday night, when I drank much more than I would like to admit. My fellow trainee and I decided that our reunion called for celebration, which we have certainly overdone. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but as I tried to drift into sleep, I could feel my body aching in the agony and confusion of why I had mistreated it and desacralized it in such a vile and cowardly manner.
Waking up hungover, I realised I had to go the extra mile to apologise and fix the harm done, wondering what was inside of me that I had tried to kill with alcohol the previous night. I pampered and mothered myself all throughout the weekend. Drinking tons of water, getting myself nice, copious breakfasts and hearty lunches (which I would have skipped otherwise), rewarding myself with organic teas and natural smoothies and juices.
I have come to realise that my body needs the same amount of care, consideration and affection on every given day; the same awareness, the same cautiousness and mindful treatment that I only thought of giving it at a time of extreme crisis. The Latins had figured a healthy mind could only exist in a healthy body, lesson they probably learned from their excessive lifestyles.
Self-nurture is essential to survival and it comes in many shapes and forms. Knowing our own limits is a matter of trial and error and learning from one’s mistakes, yet sometimes mistakes seem to perpetuate themselves and end up hurting us, as many times as it takes, as often as necessary for us to understand that we must exit certain patterns of behaviour, for our own sake and our own integrity.
When our bodies start demanding their right to healthy food, healthy sleep schedules, a healthy work-life balance, it is a sign that we have caused severe pain and trauma, which we must absolutely refrain from and redeem ourselves from, in order to continue functioning. To mark the graduation from this important learning cycle, my body has rewarded me with yet another wisdom tooth, keeping me pinned to my bed and forcing me to give it the much-deserved rest it needed.
Today, my fellow friend, I invite you to spend a few quiet moments with yourself, to listen to what your body has to say. To become aware of its wants and needs, of its pains, sorrows and hurts. Take a while to understand how your lifestyle and choices affect this fragile casing of flesh and bones that your very soul resides in, the well-being of which your very existence depends on. Give yourself the opportunity to connect with your humanity, with your vulnerability, with the fact that you are ephemeral and therefore, you need safety, protection, love and care.
Be mindful of your body, so that you may consequently push the boundaries of your mind. The healthier your body is, the healthier your mind will grow to be. Offer yourself the gift of peace; offer yourself the rest, the love, the time and space that you need, the seclusion, the company, the comfort, the pampering that you need to feel happy and balanced. Have the experiences and make the decisions for the sake of which your body, mind and spirit agree to come in alignment.
Don’t give in to peer pressure, don’t compromise on your standards for the sake of fitting into anyone’s expectations. Don’t be afraid to say “no” and to stop when your boundaries and limits have been crossed, even when the one trespassing or pushing you into unbalance is your own self. Don’t hesitate to reinforce your personal limits, in order to maintain the harmonious co-existence of your human body and divine spirit.
If you ever feel you are “too old for this shit”, you probably are. Yet that has nothing to do with your biological age. It simply means you are experienced and wise enough to act in your best interest, being aware of the consequences of your actions and taking accountability for those actions that cause you pain. In other words, age is but a number. The number of the mistakes you made, of the lessons you learned, of the experiences you had and of the times you decided to act from a place of self-love.