As I read back through my own responses to the Sandbox Writing Challenges, it became obvious to me that there is one area in my life in which I have a HUGE problem. Because of that, I know exactly what I’d like to leave behind as a legacy.
I have a bad, bad problem with self-love and self-acceptance. I think I’m finally realizing that a lot of things I’ve thought of in my life as problems — even what I may have assumed is OTHER people’s problems, not mine — stem from a basic lack of self-care and self-neglect. I’m learning I don’t repeat certain behaviors unless there’s something in them for me. And it will likely be something good, not bad.
For example, I bust my keister to be there for everyone else because it makes me feel good about MYSELF. Now I think I AM a genuinely nice person (most of the time. 😉 ), but sometimes when I’m doing those things primarily to build myself up, resentment can sneak in. So even being nice to people leaves me in a bit of a quandary about my motivation. (But that’s a struggle for another day…)
So the legacy I would like to leave behind and which I am advocating even now, is a legacy of LOVE YOURSELF. If we can’t care for our own physical, emotional, spiritual, even mental needs, no one else is going to. I’m not saying become self-centered, self-absorbed, or self-indulgent. Obviously there is a balance that has to be reached. But I AM saying DON’T ALWAYS LEAVE YOUR NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF LAST because out of that self-love will grow our ability to others freely in healthy ways.
And as to writings like the Sandbox Challenge that have helped me do my best inner work, never again will I disparage my past, no matter how I may have perceived it at times, for it has brought me to the place I am now, and now is where I have to start to learn to love myself.