Just last week as I wandered slowly through Aldi, trying to get my head around its new offerings, I found a mango candle. This orange, square promise of calm and deep breaths called out my name as it jumped off the shelves into my little shopping cart.
As I placed this $3.99 luxury into my overfull trolley, I found these negative thoughts rising…
“You don’t need another candle”
“It is a waste of money”
“Remember you are saving for your upcoming trip, that you purchased when you really couldn’t afford it.”
“Fathers Day, Birthdays, Christmas they are all looming”.
I listened to the counsel and I put it back on the shelf. I walked on, then as I turned the aisle, I went back, grabbed that candle and placed it carefully back into my shopping pile.
As a Mum, I spend most of my days saving and sacrificing for those around me and sometimes even just the thought of something to call my own is all most too much to bear. That little moment in Aldi wasn’t about the candle. The candle signified something much bigger, it told me about the state of my thought life and how I needed to take back the time to look after myself in the midst of all my flurry for others.
One of the greatest challenges I have encountered in this season is finding ways, simple easy opportunities to look after myself, as much as I do everyone else.
As I look after myself and care for the deep needs of my own person, I am so much more equipped in times when I am challenged to think sacrificially about others. I am able to light other people’s candles when my own flame is flickering.
How easy though is it to say no to the candle?
How easy is it to allow the negative thoughts, the less generous ones to take control rather than the life-giving ones?
All week, I have been lighting my mango candle and every time I walk past it, I am reminded of the simple power of taking the time to breathe and flicker slowly.
I absolutely believe that when we share our light with other candles (Mums, Family members, partners, neighbors and more) that we don’t lose. The problem is it is difficult to light another candle when we don’t even take the time to put it in our trolley.
When we sacrifice so much for others, we need to find space and time to refresh and recover the very essence of our basic needs.
When was the last time you smiled?
When was the last time you breathed so deeply, that it replenished your soul?
When was the last time you bought something, even small like a $3.99 candle to remind you of your beauty?
My dear internet friends, taking the time to create space and look after ourselves, is not selfish, it is not lazy, it is central to our very being.
We cannot give from a place, that has not been nourished in our own lives. We cannot live broadly if we have not taken the time to live deeply. We cannot step into places and share the wisdom that has not been fostered in our own quiet places.
Buy the damn candle.
Light it today.
And breath a little deeper.