Sarah HutchisonCo Owner, Chief Empowering Officer - We Thrive Wellness Centre
Sarah's Story :
“Putting yourself first is as much about loving others, as it is about loving you.” ~ Sarah Hutchison
Like so many of us, I learned about the importance of caring for me first, through struggle and then breakdown. I’m a dedicated self-sacrificer, hell-bent on running myself ragged before I dare “let anyone else down”.
Can you relate?
It had always been my #truth that to focus on the needs of others, even at my own expense, was the most loving and kind hearted way to live. And then, out of nowhere, life conspired to teach me that I had it all wrong.
When my boys were ages 2 and 4, I found myself admitted for an unplanned stay in the locked down intensive care unit of the psych ward. It wasn’t really my first choice of accommodations for the break from my life that I was in desperate need of. I would have much preferred a hotel or an all-inclusive, but it served its purpose.
Ironically it was Mother’s Day that weekend, so my love was frantic to spring me and get me home to my children. But if I had been honest at that time, a big part of me wanted to stay. I’d had a solid night of sleep, no one needed me, I wasn’t responsible for cooking or cleaning, and there was no research or writing to do while I was there. I was on a forced vacation, and I needed it.
I had pushed myself to my limit. Too many sleepless nights working or tending to littles. Too many balls to juggle and coordinate without dropping. Way too many times saying “yes” when all I wanted to say was “no”.
I had made myself the smallest person in my life, getting the least of my own attention. And it was ruining me.
I couldn’t see any of this at that time of course. I had blinders on. I thought I was doing things right. But looking back I think it was for the best that I was clueless. I needed more time to be in that pain. I needed to keep making the wrong choices so that the lesson got louder.
No doubt being formed and admitted to a psychiatric ward stands out as a low point in my life. But it was also a good indication of my dedication and conviction when I believe in something. At that time, I held that giving to others first was the best way to love them. And I was willing to push myself to utter exhaustion and breakdown to stay true to that.
Thankfully a whole hell of a lot of self reflection and a sh*t tonne of self-help books have helped me realize that the very best way to love and serve the people I adore in life, is to actually love myself more (or at least as much) as I love others.
And this means committing to myself with the same conviction that I commit to them.
Do I get this right all the time? Hell no! I stumble. I regress. I push myself too far.
But there is a whole heck of a lot more yoga, tea, podcasts, sleep and me-time in my life than there was before. And I’m so much happier and healthier for it.
When I look backwards over what I call the ‘grisly bits’ of my life, I see pain – yes. But I regard that pain much differently now, then I did then.
Now all I feel is gratitude for those moments of vulnerability and struggle.
They led me to become a teacher of self-care and personal growth.
They inspired me to write about my experiences and share my truth with people who can relate.
They laid the foundation for the creation of We Thrive Wellness Centre and Bliss B4 Laundry – companies I helped create to serve and support people seeking transformation, health and happiness. And those hard times created a resilience and a level of compassion in me that I’m certain couldn’t have resulted without them.
I’m grateful for the dualistic, up and down experiences of life.
The most beautiful of lessons are all wrapped up in there.