Obligation. Expectation. Selflessness.
It bogs you down. How much time do you take each day to care for your own needs? Do you let your own well-being deteriorate to take care of everyone else in your world? You know down to your bones that this is the wrong direction. Yet everyday, you continue down this road of suffering for the sake of everyone else. And it's time for that to stop.
Hey there! I'm Selena.
The Love You More project has been in me for a very long time. Truly, my entire life, or since I was 4…at least that is what I’ve been told by my grandmother. That’s when I began to be the mother. To do everything for everyone in my life because some way, some how, it became the expectation.
In 2014, my mother, who was never really ‘mothered,’ was faced with her own mortality. As an alcoholic for over thirty years, her liver was no longer doing it’s job. This was something I had always known was coming. I love my mother; however, I had very little sympathy. And, I was very resentful that I was STILL taking care of her.
I was able to spend a lot of time with her in the summer and fall of 2014. I was out of work, which allowed me to act as her medical advocate. I was both grateful and resentful as this monopolized my life. In the end, I was so very happy that I spent the last days of her life holding her hand and loving on her.
She passed away on Oct 30, 2014.
It was a huge relief. I know that sounds strange. I can’t explain it other than I had grieved the loss of my ‘mother’ long ago.
I tried everything I could to help her heal. Rehab, exercise, diet, love, patience…all of it, but nothing worked. She didn’t want it.
What I came to realize was the problem wasn’t necessarily all the physical damage she did to herself, but the emotional piece that no one could ever tap into.
The one thing that I could never do for her. The one thing that I could never teach her, was how to love herself enough to want to live.
At her memorial, I couldn’t speak my heart. I instead told a touching story about our last conversation regarding her mortality. But truly, I was angry. Pissed off that she was now dead and will never be the mom I longed for.
I was done.
I told my dad that I was taking off my hat.
He looked at me funny and said, “What are you talking about?"
I said, “Those hats. The hat of doing everything for everyone. The hat of obligation. The hat of expectation. The hat of letting my health go to shit because I am SUPPOSED to take care of everyone else. I’m taking those off for good.”
He smiled, “Good for you pumpkin."
And THAT is what I vowed to do for myself and millions of women. I have seen it over the years as a holistic nutrition coach - women (and men) veiled in exhaustion and sucked dry of their joy. Why? Because of the busyness of life. Obligation, expectation, and denying ourselves who we are, to be what we are supposed to be.
My mom numbed her sadness and denied her desires with alcohol and drugs. She found substances to allow her to feel love. But that love never came from herself. She destroyed herself. And I believe we are destroying ourselves slowly - by falling prey to life rather than kicking-ass at it.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I want women to understand that they have permission to make themselves a priority. To live a Love YOU More lifestyle.
The first piece in the Love YOU More journey is to uncover what is hidden; the part of you that was once vibrant and strong but has started to fade. The YOU who had dreams and desires before you were told what you were SUPPOSED to do and be.
I believe that it is imperative to understand what we believe in. What we stand for. And how we want to feel in or most creative and beautiful self-expression.