Love yourself so that you can love others

Sister Zeph
Posted January 27, 2019 from Pakistan

I am Sister Zeph a woman who is known as a woman of action. I started working as an education activist at age of 13 and I kept working for 21 years without any break. I taught myself, I taught hundreds of underprivileged girls, I gave them free education, I taught them skills so they can become empowered. My students are teachers, nurses, professional tailors, beauticians, administrators, business ladies, healthy and educated mother and college and university students. My students are those who cannot afford to have education otherwise. I buy groceries for widows and orphans, I buy them winter and summer clothes, I feed many children every day with good food. I help burn victim girls to get treatment whose families does not care for them. I provide everything for those children who are homeless and help them to get freedom from child labor. I have saved hundreds of children from child labor and girls from child marriage and honor killing, I have taught self-defense techniques to so many girls with the help of my friends so that they can defend themselves from rape and violence.

I have been awarded two international awards, one global prize and one gold medal winning film about my life and work.

But today when I look back it seems like I have done what I could do, but now I can do nothing. I was having pain in my backbone and knees for many years. I went to the doctors and they diagnosed me with many problems I was having deficiency of iron and vitamin D. I was having low blood pressure problem, but I did  not do anything to make it all correct. I was having problem in my lower abdominal, I was diagnosed with a cyst and I did not take it serious. Then it all started getting worse, pain in lower back, lower abdominal, in legs, I feel dizzy, I cannot focus on anything, I try my best to work but I cannot. I am in pain all the time, I cannot even pass the urine without pain, I have fever and cough, cannot lift even my laptop’s weight, I feel sleepy always, my skin has gotten dry, I have inflammation in my lower abdominal, pigmentation and wrinkles on my face that I do not go on camera without makeup and I am gaining weight so quick and everybody is surprised to look at me, I have to do dieting to keep my weight in control because if I do  exercise it hurts my body a lot and I have polycystic ovaries which can lead me to many other health issues.

My friends would always say to me to take some rest and medication, but I would always feel guilty, I always wanted to spend money on an orphan child instead of spending for my medication.

But now when I have no option I have decided to go to the doctor, but I finally have to stay in hospital for one week and this is just a beginning of my treatment. I have to stay away from those burn victims who I have to give massages, five times a day or their arms will stick again to their bellies. I have to stay away from our skill center where young women from ten villages come to learn skills and I have to make sure to be there to provide them everything in time so they do not lose their interest in learning.

I have to spend so much money on my medication which I would always keep for the salaries of our staff or for many other things in the school or skill center etc.

My team members never want to come in front because they have to keep themselves in veils and they cannot reveal their identity or their families will not allow them to work. Well educated girls like to come in front, though, but I will have to pay them really high salaries, which I cannot afford but now I have found a solution and I have started giving training to my existing staff and how they can look after everything in my absence without showing their identity publicly. I wish I could think of this solution before.  

I wish I could have done this before, when it was not so much severe, I wish I could have learned this before that even loving myself is a love for my cause because if I will be fine I will be able to take care of them.  

I have always been feeling guilty that if I will do something for myself this will be like I am using something what belongs to my students, my time, my life, my energy everything is for them, but now it makes me so frightened when I think what if I will have to be in hospital for many weeks, what if I will die, what if I will not be around, I was not a good planner I have started taking care of myself and I will be fine  but I just hope that I am not late yet.

Comments 8

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Corine Milano
Jan 27
Jan 27

Sister Zeph, I am so sorry to hear of all that you’re experiencing now. Rest. Recover. Breathe. You are doing the right thing by taking care of you right now. We are all holding you in our hearts right now as you go through this challenge. I know it is hard to focus on your own health and healing, as you give so much to others. But you, dear, are important. Your health is important. I am proud of you for going into hospital. We are here for you!!

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Oooh Sister Zeph am so sorry to hear about your medical condition. You are the true meaning of selflessness. I wish you a quick recovery and will keep you in my prayers daily. Stay blessed

Seka
Jan 28
Jan 28

Chère Zeph,
Que Dieu vous guérisse ma soeur car vous n'avez pas encore fini votre mission. Le monde a besoin des gens comme vous. C'est important que vous ayez pensé à former d'autres car un bon leader est celui qui prépare ses successeurs. Nous espérons que tout ira bien.
Seka

jlanghus
Jan 28
Jan 28

Oh dear Sister Zeph,

You are such a noble warrior. Please don't blame yourself, dear. Your intentions were and are pure. Everything will be taken care of in your absence. I'm so glad you are finally taking care of yourself. I think since you are making yourself priority you will be able to feel better quickly. I am sending you loads of love and light so that you receive the best treatment, doctors, care, and protection. You can't die because there is so much more of your legacy and work that needs to be fulfilled by you. I have faith this will happen for you. Please have faith, dear...

Much love,
XOXO

Urmila Chanam
Jan 29
Jan 29

Dear sister Zeph,

You are a selfless angel and God looks after his people. Get well soon. We all love you a lot.

Love and prayers
Urmila Chanam
India

otahelp
Feb 01
Feb 01

Ssiter Zeeph, i can feel your vibe. Taking care of yourself would not have amount to loving those victims less. Is not everybody that have your passion. thank God you have realised the key thing you should have done in the past. Innovation and step down trainings. i hope you succeed in passing down your knowledge to your other workers. I pray also that you survive these ailments plaguing you so that your wards will truly continue to enjoy your good will. thank you for sharing your story. Do not give up on yourself. you will surely survive.

Hello, sister Zeph,

You are LOVE personified. You have given and sacrificed much so that others can live. May you find ample rest and complete healing. It is not wrong to love ourselves, too. You are as important as the lives of the staff and children you serve. Praying for provision and recovery. Hugs.

Rupali M
Mar 29
Mar 29

Sister,
All women are so much preprogrammed to take care of others before themselves. Women all around d world must learn to take care of themselves first so tat they can care enough for others. U r right, Plz take gud care of urself as a priority, everyday..God Bless.
Regards.