Human Stories

Radical self-care

Here is a story from Marshall Rosenberg that inspires me over and over again regarding how to prioritize self-care.
Story from Marshall:  

Many of us live under much pressure: kids, work, loan, friends, family… everyone seems to want something from us. Not to mention when sickness, divorce, or a court-case arrives at the door.
No wonder so many people find themselves in a burnout.
So how about ‘radical self-care’? 

I love Marshall. He lived the process so fully, and left a legend behind him filled with stories, knowledge and inspiration.
A profound challenge I believe many of us encounter is answering the question: “What I am really responsible for?”. Here is a story that helps me come back over and over again to remembering what I am responsible for, and what choices I can make that will be sustainably contributing to life.
(I don’t have a written trace of this story, so see this as my memory of what he told):

Radical self-care: how to prioritize my well-being? 
It was a Sunday evening, and after days of much work, Marshall returns home exhausted, and he sits down to finally… rest. It is exactly then that he hears the doorbell. He drags himself to the door, opens it and there he see two policemen holding a woman.
The policemen says: “Mr. Rosenberg? We just picked this woman from the railway, she was about to take her life. When speaking with her, the only thing she could tell us was your name and address. So we brought her here to speak with you”.
Marshall, looked at the woman and said: “I am terribly tired right now and desperately need a good night rest. Please come back tomorrow, I will be happy then to meet and talk with you”.
(Where did he get the courage to say something like that to a woman who was just about to take her life???)
The morning after, the woman came to Marshall, and said: “Marshall, THANK YOU! Yesterday I wanted to take my life because I thought I am so worthless that I cannot contribute to ANYONE. When you said that you were tired and needed a good rest, in that moment I saw that I can contribute to you. And it gave me back the sparkle of meaning in life”.

I can never know what my actions will contribute to. I never know whether my choices are good or bad. I grew up in a society that gave me the message that it is selfish to listen to my needs.
It is NVC that taught me the mysterious intelligence of the body, of Needs, an intelligence within me that knows so much more about life than my own brain.

With much hope for self care,