The concept of self-care is more about creating personal awareness than it is anything else. It about cultivating a relationship with yourself. Taking time with you, learning your likes and dislikes, observing your sensitivities and strengths and without judgment or shame owning what you see and feel. It has taken me a while to do this, but each day I offer myself this time and consideration, and because of this viewpoint, I am stronger, more compassionate and far more truthful about what I can achieve in any given day.
I’ve learned about me through self-care, just as I would a new friend. Rather than judging, I open myself to this new friendship; I have a curious eye. Self-care is a reflection of me that only I can provide for myself. I have tried unfairly to press my expectation on others, wishing that someone else could make me feel better. I have also judged my friends for not showing up when I needed support, but how did I ever expect someone other than me to know when I was feeling lost, lonely or empty?
Sadly, we live in a world that is challenged to embrace the concept of self-care. Rather, we focus on healing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger and poor nutrition and neglect the root of the symptoms. True healing depends on our ability to heal from the inside out and until we do that we will be managing our symptoms forever.
Self-care has given me the voice I need, not what I wish I was, or what I think someone else wants me to be. It has helped me understand more clearly who I really am and that the ultimate self- care is about acceptance of who I am. My quirky ways, my simple joys, my grumpy, exhausted tendencies and my silly, happy expressions. Each of these characteristics makes me who I am. I no longer push away these expressions, they have an important place in my life. They inform me, and I respect and honor the information as my guide.
Self-care is a great first step to true healing. It will strengthen your ability to bring awareness to your life.
This holiday season give yourself permission to step back and consolidate your energy. Prioritize what means most to you. Rather than trying to do it all, let go of responsibilities that bring on dreaded feelings. If this isn’t possible, ask for help. Each time you let go of something, you make room for something else. Make sound decisions about what you put in your life. Notice how they make you feel and how this noticing is the beginning of charitable acts of self-care, self-healing, and ultimately self-love.
In Peace, In Light, In love.