“Gathering” yourself means to me to “pull yourself together”–not in the chiding way you might hear in your head, but in the way that you self-evaluate: Where am I spending my time? My resources? My energy? How are my expenditures affecting me?

I think that contemplating how I am spending my time, energy, money, calories, love, service is critical to happiness as a person and as a nurturer. If I am overspending in any area, it is going to affect me and affect those around me. I learned that in a big way in 2005 and the successive few years.

“All is safely gathered in” means that I evaluate myself regularly and see how I am doing. What do I need to tweek so that I feel more at peace? Do I need to slow down? Speed up? Reach out more? Pull back a little?

“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” means that our disposition have a big ripple effect on those we love. If I monitor my self-care and oversee wisely my resources, my ability to nurture others will increase. I can love others more freely and serve others more effectively, so I work to take care of myself as well.