Not too long ago, someone called me out the blue. When I answered, I expected them to ask for some kind of favor. I thought to myself, "I bet they're gonna ask for something by the end of this conversation."
Instead, they just wanted to see how I was doing. How my family was doing. If I needed any help. I remember being really short with them, brushing off the casual conversation because they're not the type to pick up the phone. I kept trying to rush them off the phone and it seemed like they just weren't getting the hint. I found myself trying to come up with excuses to cut the conversation short. I could have just hung up, but I didn't. Before I knew it, we talked for the entirety of my lunch break. And it was refreshing.
They did ask for a favor...to call more often.
When we did finally end our call, I felt incredibly guilty for being so suspicious of their motives. It was counterproductive to underestimate their compassion and concern for my well-being.
Perhaps because self-care has been so elusive lately. Between doctor's visits, staring at two computer screens, long commutes, and other obligations; I couldn't make room for it.
It isn't uncommon for me to ask myself, "What are you doing to take care of yourself?"
And it would seem that self-care was becoming more theoretical than practical.
Then my close friends started to hold me accountable. They'd echo that question, "what are you doing to take care of yourself" in the most maternal tone. So sternly, yet caring, that it tasted like a room-temperature bottle of Dasani water.
I could hardly drink their accountability and tried to power through my days with a high-functioning numbness. Finally, I checked out. I stopped returning phone calls, text messages, and social media posts. They saw right through it and empathized with the toll it was beginning to take on me. They persisted.
So I gave in and something amazing happened.
They offered to cook meals for my family, making sure I ate. They helped me run errands so I didn't get overwhelmed. They'd visit my mom in the hospital, sitting with her when I was too tired to commute. They'd treat me to foot massages and pedicures, just to get me out the house. They'd pick up medication so I wouldn't have to burn the cheap gas I put in my car.
Then I noticed that life stopped feeling heavy.
They showed up in a way that I could not show up for myself. They filled in the gaps where I lost capacity so that I could give my family a fuller experience.
I was and continue to be overwhelmed by the support I realized I have. In rejecting their expression of love, I was rejecting the idea that I was deserving of it, to begin with.
My tribe was a safety net, a support system, but more importantly the clearest mirrors of how I was treating myself and others. When I saw accountability's reflection, I saw that I rejected the love I love to give. I needed to let my friends show up for me so that I could show up for myself and my family.
There are people advocating for my wellness. I owed them my best effort to be my best self. I had to allow them to love me so that I could love myself.
So even though it is hard, it feels heavy, don’t take your network of love and support for granted. Let them love up on you. Let them call you out when you check out, let them call you up so you can be elevated as Life Architect Stephanie Fuentes once said.
Being a Sagittarius is a beautiful hypocrisy. As much as I love to communicate, I suck at communication.That's probably why I need people to be explicitly clear so I don't misinterpret their words and actions.
But now people were spelling out clearly that I am loved so that I could love and share my gifts in return.
So take the time you need for growth and healing. FULL STOP. But do not shut out people who only want to elevate you. I learned that your gatherers will not let you go unwatered too long without tending to your soil.