Self-care often involves indulgence and giving yourself over to the need to be good to yourself.
Medjugorje, Bosnia – June 25, 1990 is when I first felt called to a life of service.

Indulgence is such a difficult concept for me and yet one that is so utterly familiar and available. I am very guarded about indulging myself – my fantasies, my pleasures, my dreams, my deepest depravities. The worst is deciding when to give into my impulses. Giving myself over to the fleeting desires of the moment. The heat of the moment. The flash of inspiration.

Always so afraid of the consequences that I would clamp down all opportunities to live in the moment. Shit needed to be planned and taken apart mentally and verbally before I would ever indulge. Worse were the times that I would shut myself down before I could ever indulge the rewards of a job well done — No, there was always more to do, more to accomplish before I was worthy.

No fun for you until you earn it

This rule has been part of my existence for all my life. I don’t know if it was the insane work ethic of the Mexican half of my family, the Catholicism of my youth or the bullies in my past – but there has consistently always been a message that I cannot enjoy, cannot accept accolades or rewards, cannot…indulge…until all my work is done. Correction – until all my work is perfectly done.

Except when you’ve accepted a calling that asks you to consistently work to better the world, you’re never going to be done. There will always be more people to reach, more love to share, more wounds to heal, more dark monsters to embrace. This is my calling, this is who I am, as stripped down of the mysticism in which it arrived. I aim to serve humanity in the best ways that I can, even if those ways will never truly be enough. The job is too big, too overwhelming to do by myself; so I know I will only be contributing drops into a bigger bucket of a love movement that we need to create in this world.

In some ways, I’ve set myself up to fail. If my ability to indulge is dependent on my ability to complete my calling (to perfection), how can I ever hope to enjoy the riches that life has to offer? I have been sabotaging myself my entire life with this calling, always rejecting the things that are happy and easy and accepting the suffering, the sacrifice and the emotional perils of self-denial.

Pushing Back

This past October I came to a conclusion that I was done sacrificing everything I am in pursuit of this calling.  Every opportunity I’ve had to take steps toward realizing my own dreams were usually sabotaged by my stubborn pride that the only way I will ever be deserving of any reward would be to deny, push away and ignore the happiness that has always flirted at the edges of my consciousness.

I decided (finally) that I -deserved- to take care of myself and to be supported in pursuing my own dreams and desires.

For a Catholic girl, that is a giant thing for me to say. To recognize that I deserve to live my fullest life, that I deserve to receive with any of the abundances with which I give. Most of the premise of Catholicism is a life of sacrifice, suffering and a forever feeling of “not good enough” for the god that we’re supposed to both fear and love above all else. My entire life I’ve struggled with the thought that to want, to wish, to dream, to indulge is selfish and therefore bad.

But that voice, so strong, compelling me to pursue the things and people I want, caused me to take some risks and to yes, indulge just a little. This included going along with some crazy connections and treating myself to a solo trip to Pennsylvania to see my long distance partners out there.

But it wasn’t until this January that I realized how utterly burned out I was. 11-14 hour days on the regular. Vulnerable clients that I can’t help fast enough. Each failure was an indictment on my soul’s purpose. The weight of every potential outcome on my shoulders made heavier by the self-defeating belief of my own unworthiness.

Indulgence felt reckless and dangerous. But it also made me feel alive.

We can’t receive what we don’t believe we deserve

I have a couple of big dreams that I want to see happen in my lifetime. Since starting down this path in 2012 I had to find myself deserving of the fulfillment of those dreams.

Some call it manifestation, some call it positive thinking. But for me, it was about putting myself in the shoes of my future self. Imagining situations where I might receive this giant gift of a dream coming true. How would I receive it? How would I feel?

In every scenario, my gut reaction was to push it away, reject it and decide I hadn’t yet earned it. For the dreams that involve connections with ideal partners, like the Druid, How would I ever grasp the right opportunities if I didn’t allow myself to indulge in them when I found them? How would I ever hang onto success if I was always questioning it? Worse, how would my rejection make others feel?

So, this year, my year of deservingness, I started to indulge. Indulge in the dreaming and the rest of my body and soul. Indulge in the sex and flirty interactions. Indulge in new relationship energy and nights of abandon. Indulge in sharing my thoughts and feelings, my laughter and fun. Order commissions of me as a kinky dominatrix and be a bratty little girl in the bedroom. Indulge the exhibitionist in me and the wild goddess needing expression.

Since then, dreams have unraveled in my lap– 2 3-day tickets to Denver ComicCon, extra money so I could get a photo with Nathan Fillion there, an opportunity to go to Thunder for free, some one on one time with my favorite author.

To receive – we have to believe in the impossible.

Blessings aren’t delivered to those who doubt, who question, who reject. Or rather, blessings aren’t visible to those who insist on creating conditions around their delivery. Blessings are seen by those willing to create the intention and allow it to blossom in its own time. When you let go the need to control the result, this is where creative possibility lives. Blessings live in the void between the exhale and the next inhale. The uncertainty of whether the next breath will ever come – because when it does, it is the most blessed and happy thing possible. Blessings arrive when they choose to, often prompted by the immense freedom of allowing ourselves to truly live.

So the lesson to myself is to live, to allow, to say yes to opportunity. And most of all to find myself worthy of receiving – not as a reward but as a balance due for the output of energy for the work I’ve already accomplished. A payment forward to replenish for the work yet to come.

If you enjoyed this post, you should check out: 

A beautiful piece on healing and moving forward from Sexual Trauma by Natasha Das Gupta on Feminine Philosopher

A story of reframing impulsiveness and taking each day as it comes at


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