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Dr. Pacik

“If your life is like a tragedy it is because you have been neglecting something — most likely yourself.”
~ Bryant McGill

Neglect is more harmful than once thought, especially for young children. It comes in the form of disregarding or ignoring a child’s needs, whether emotional, physical, or psychological. Being neglected can wreak terrible damage on children’s sense of themselves, and therefore on their self-worth and esteem. These under-valued children may carry the baton of neglect into the rest of their lives. Many of us struggled from the supposedly “benign” neglect by our caregivers, which left us feeling shameful about our appearance, bodies, morals, or intelligence. We may heal ourselves from these wounds. But making such a fundamental change in the way we see–or don’t see–our true beings requires stopping and taking an inventory of the self-disregard we still tolerate in our lives.

Survey your life: Take a look at your home, car, work environment, wardrobe, relationships, and spiritual state, and see what parts of yourself you may be neglecting. What has become shabby in your surroundings? In your appearance? In your work? Do you settle for neglectful, cavalier relationships with friends or your partner? If you show indifference to yourself, you can expect nothing more from potential lovers, friends, or bosses.

If you’re neglecting your primary relationship then that “garden” won’t flourish and grow either. So often we assume that once we’re in a committed relationship it will sail on automatic pilot seamlessly into the future. Since no one ever put attention or care into them, persons neglected as children may have particular difficulty grasping that living relationships, like living beings, require tending, hard work, and love. Promise yourself to care for your relationship, and for yourself, and put those vows into practice.

• Take a moment to look at your life and consider your most deeply desired vision for the coming year.
• Do the persons and things in your life reflect that vision or are you tolerating scraps?
• Remove all tattered or shabby things in your life and stop neglecting yourself.

From the MIRROR OF INTIMACY book The Daily Meditation Book by Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss