Trait Fourteen – Keepers take good care of themselves.
Keepers do everything they can to stay mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy. They not only feel better but can better face whatever comes their way.
They hang out with people who regenerate them, keep their minds active, and are deeply in love with the spiritual values that sustain them through traumas.
These are the partners you never have to remind to care for themselves. They don’t put that pressure on the people they love.
These Keepers don’t press their views on others but stand as models for the people they treasure. You can easily recognize them by the quickness to their step, their ready smiles, the twinkle in their eyes, and their sense of personal serenity. They are in touch, in every way.
He: “You know, honey, I’ve always teased you about your commitments to working out and yoga gurus. Now that I look around, you’re the most beautiful woman at every party we go to. You’ve had three kids and you look younger today than when I married you. I think I’ve just been jealous of your discipline and the way you just take care of things.”
Keeper: “I know that I take time out from you and the kids sometimes, but I want to be my best for you guys and I know that I’m better when I make sure I’m okay. When your parents are alcoholics, there’s not much discipline or good food around. I just never wanted to be like them. It’s not easy, though. I have to re-commit every day, even when I feel discouraged.”
He: “I may complain sometimes, but I appreciate you. I think I’m jealous sometimes, too. I know I should care about myself better, even if it’s just for you and the kids. I wish you’d push me harder.”
Keeper: “I don’t want to push you to do something you don’t want to do. I know how hard you work and how difficult it is to do what you do. I would love it if you took better care of yourself, but I also know that’s your decision. I could tease you because I can run farther than you can. Would that help?”
He: “Now you’re getting serious. Do I have to meditate, too?”
Keeper: (smiling) “Only if you want to keep up. I can always push you around in your wheelchair come day.”
He: “Okay, that’s it. You’re disgustingly perfect and effectively manipulative. I’m on board.”
Trait Fifteen – Keepers treasure the present moment.
Keepers plan for the future and learn from the past, but they are most invigorated by whatever is happening in the present moment. By living more fully in the only real-time that exists for them, they are able to leave heartbreaks in the past and use the future for possibilities.
When you’re with a person who treasures the immediate moment, you will feel deeply attended to. If you are in distress, those people notice immediately, stop whatever their doing, and ask you if you’re okay, no matter what was going on before.
If you smile, they will want to know what is making you feel that way. If you can’t find the words to express what you’re feeling, they reach out to meet you wherever you are. When these Keepers are with you, they are only with you.
She: “I just can’t seem to let go of my past mistakes. I feel so responsible for the damage I’ve caused. I try to forget them, but my mind just won’t let go. I keep thinking that something terrible is going to happen and I’m at fault. The saner part of me keeps fighting back and saying it wasn’t that bad, but it doesn’t seem to hold.”
Keeper: “You are really being hard on yourself right now. I can feel your tears coming.”
She: (Begins to cry) “I know you’re right, but I just can’t seem to stop. Maybe it was all that criticism I took it as a kid. I could never do anything right.”
Keeper: (Takes her hand) “You’re so sad. What is at the core of your sorrow?”
She: “I’m afraid that if I keep messing up, I’ll never deserve to be really loved.”
Keeper: “Honey, look at me. I love you, now, in the present. It doesn’t matter what you ever did in the past. I know what a wonderful person you are. Do you believe me?”
She: (Looks into his eyes, wanting to believe him) “Yes.”
Keeper: “Always remember. We only have this moment and, for us, that is what matters.”