Ever ask yourself what would happen to the world around you if you didn’t show up? If you took a day or 2 or 3 off? What if everyone who depended on you in your personal, professional and social life did not have immediate access to you?
I used to think the world was going to end if I didn't “show up” even if it meant running myself completely down physically and mentally. I would show up to work, to family obligations and to all social obligations. Some days I would be so physically sick that my blood pressure would be sky high, my head would be pounding, I would be completely fatigued and my body would ache so bad I could barely walk by the end of the day but, I showed up. When my body had surpassed its threshold for pain, I would crawl into my dark place to cry and feel sorry for myself because I felt unappreciated for my above and beyond efforts to be everything to everyone when they needed me.
And then this thing called a brain tumor happened and it changed my whole perspective on what "showing up" meant. At the age of 37 and after suffering for almost 2 years in silence with a grocery shopping list of health issues that included hypertension, fatigue, chronic pain, acne, skin bruising, extreme weight gain, severe headaches, early menopausal symptoms blurred vision, mental fog, anxiety and depression I was finally forced to “not show up” so that I could finally take care of me. Throughout my sickness I could never justify taking any time off from work and I remember always being so worried about how my team would survive without my leadership. I worried about how my daughter would get her daily care; how she would to and from school; how she would get her homework done and how she would get to her extra-curricular activities. I worried about how the house would get cleaned. I worried about how my bills would be managed. I worried, I worried and I worried.
And then guess what? On September 25th, 2014, I was taken into surgery to remove the life-threatening tumor from my brain. The tumor was the result of a rare disease called Cushing’s and was the cause for so much havoc on my body internally and externally. By the grace of God, I woke up from a successful surgery and endured a 3-month amazing recovery that resulted in me being in my best health in more years than I can recall. At the end of it all, the world was still intact and nothing or no one fell apart because I wasn't there. Not at work, home or anywhere else.
At some point during those 3 months after my surgery I began to see my life and my role in the lives of others very differently. I finally realized that "showing up" was not always enough. I thought about all the times I showed up physically but because of my disease, mentally I was completely clouded and non-productive. I thought about all the times that I valued the opinions of others on my lack of being there over my own need for self-care. Lastly, I thought about how my disillusioned thoughts and actions almost cost me my life. I decided then and there that I would take advantage of my second chance to redefine what "showing up" meant for me:
The biggest lesson I learned through this experience that I am committed to sharing with anyone who will listen (or read) is that the world will not end of you don't "show up" and not taking care of you could quite possibly result in your untimely permanent absence from everyone that loves and values you the most. Taking care of you is not an option; you deserve it and it is necessary. Do something today just for you and continue your work of being amazing on purpose.
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About the Author:
My name is DaVita Garfield and as the founder of empoWermentNOW I am so honored to be able to embrace my purpose to use my experiences to inspire and encourage others to live on purpose and to be successful without apology. Join me on this journey and let’s do the work to share your inspiring and life-changing story. www.DaVitaGarfield.com
My goal is to take the time to focus on another "ROSE" in need and seek ways to bless, support and encourage her through her current challenges.