Women tend to have a nurturing spirit towards those we love. I can attest as a mother of four that although I was terrified when I first entered motherhood, it didn't take long for my natural nurturing instinct to step in. We as women also tend to be nurturers outside of motherhood through other relationships. My healing journey in life after divorce has taught me the importance of self-nurturing as a way of providing the same love and care for myself that I give to others.
Let's be honest. We are trained as little girls to diligently care for others and to put everyone's needs before our own in a perquisite of being mini martyrs. We're taught that if in some way we look out for ourselves, we're acting selfish. The little girls who openly say, "I'm beautiful!" were considered to be a tad conceited amongst school chatter.
My mother and maternal grandparents tended to keep me close in being on call to help around the house and welcome visitors when they came to our home. I was more or less the family caregiver whenever there was illness.
I look back on my formative years in developing friendships and see that I was the nurturing friend. I was the friend that knew what to say and do to make others feel better. I can say that as a nurturing friend with no boundaries, I attracted some toxic friends who took advantage of my kindness. My nurturing spirt attracted 'mama's boys' in dating and marriage so that I'm still healing from the web of the weird triangulation that created unknowing competition with their vexed mothers.
Nurturing unchecked can be a danger zone with collateral damage of the heart.
The Nurturing Balance
I've grown to find balance in having a nurturing spirit through trial, error, and taking ownership in my part that contributed to unhealthy relationships of co-dependency.
I honor my nurturing spirit without suppressing it from burnout or broken relationships.
I unapologetically stick to my boundaries with others while still being true to my nature. I've gained so many rich friendships in my life, and it's an honor for me to hear that when loved ones enter my home there's a feeling of safety that my nurturing personality provides. My children bring out the best in me with the balance of being a nurturer and a fierce protector when my inner mama bear is brought forth. I have realized that the same care I give to others, I can also extend to myself. I use that same balance that I've gained to apply self-nurturing towards myself in an act of self-love.
Here are some ways to apply self-nurturing:
Speak kindly to yourself internally and externally.
Be protective in selecting the company you keep and entertain.
Protect yourself by setting boundaries and trust your intuition.
Take care of your temple by actively caring for your mind, body, and spirit.
Support your goals and vision.
Extend yourself compassion.
Give yourself permission to rest.
Minimarie Andrews is a writer, blogger, speaker, and host. She is a proud mother of four, and she has a passion for teaching young people as a fine arts educator. She's also a former gospel radio host and now has her own podcast. She shares in her blog, "Purpose Filled Mommy with Minimarie", along with other outlets, wellness, embracing joy, having a grateful heart, cultivating centered families, establishing healthy relationships, and living a life of purpose. Find out more at https://purposefilledmommywithminimarie.com/