My high school senior quote was, “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.” I was eighteen and I had no idea…
I often post about self-care: the healthy decision to put one’s own needs before the needs of others (for once 🙄).
I often promote it on behalf of the constant givers who I deeply identify with: women, wives, mothers, teachers…
You don’t see them…the hundreds of secret sacrifices made. There aren’t enough social media content areas to capture the invisible labor…to express what we give up for you…
husband, daughter, son, student, young artist, community, career, culture…
It’s hard and damn near impossible to break it all down…the inumberable sacrifices. I find myself forgeting about the day-to-day relinquishings because I am so focused on positioning others to be great, giving to them, caring for them, or facilitating life lessons so that they can experience growth organically. I go to sleep and wake up hardly remembering the details from the day prior. I just awake to do it all again. But better than yesterday.
I remember coming across a bill for emotional labor on the internet one time. And I began thinking about how I might itemize such a bill. What the amount due would be…who might the recipients of this bill be…
And then I think about Jesus.
I think about…Jesus.
What if Jesus sent a bill?
What if my parents sent a bill?
I have spent nearly two months reflecting on this powerful topic (self-care), and I continue to circle back to my affinity group which includes God, Jesus, Dad, and Mom. Two of those forces tend to join me in my darkest hours. When I feel as though I’ve stepped on a landmine and all the pieces of me are scattered– lost… In my time of need? All four forces seem to have my back. They all show up ready and willing to rescue me. And, thank heavens, not one of them ever leaves a bill.
I never want to become so depleted that I forget my sources of strength; that I forget where my help comes from.
Many of us want to be like Jesus.
But not all of us are willing to die daily.
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.