Yes, it’s admirable that we devote ourselves to our children and families at our own expense. Getting stuff done day in day out. Filling plates and cups and hearts of others first. But what’s the impact of that?
Sure, there’s the exhaustion factor. There’s also the career sacrifice and physical health sides of things – getting mouths fed and gobbling junk for ourselves because that’s easy, or forgoing a gym session because it was more important to cuddle your little one at 1am … and 3am and 4:30am …
But what impact does it have on our spirit? Our sense of self love, self respect and self compassion? Our sense of freedom? Our sense of just SELF.
If sense of self is lacking how can we possibly approach our devotion to others completely, authentically and believably?
From my experience, I’ve come to believe that investment in yourself is crucial. Without it you become drained and lose touch with your inner life force, your inner compass. You might find that decisions become inexplicably hard, or the simplest things frustrate you, or you see resentment creeping into your daily outlook, or you find yourself agreeing with everyone because you can’t recall what your opinion is.
A lot of people call self care “filling your cup” and it’s become a bit of a buzz phrase. But what good is doing something nice for yourself to fill your cup unless you are completely connected with you?
It’s for this reason, before you do any cup filling, I like to connect with my inner life force. Remind myself what I’m about. I like to think of it as holding hands with the young YOU. If you close your eyes and imagine facing a younger you and holding her hands. What is it that she enjoyed doing? What were her dreams of luxury, what did she think was fun, what made her heart expand? What would she smile about and excitedly tell you she was off to try or do or accomplish next?
Get in touch with your inner life force, your inert spirit and character – free from expectations and routine. Then, nurture it.
Everyone’s method of self care is different. Some will dedicate days to self care. Others barely half an hour. Both are right for those people because it’s their circumstance and their spirit. But I invite you to consistently dedicate a portion of time each day, the same time each day, to SELF. You deserve that much, surely.
Here’s a first suggestion on self care:
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
We often forget how important it is to be kind and gentle towards ourselves. Speak to yourself like you would speak to your best friend and give yourself the same encouragement, support and love. I find this is especially important for me on tough days. Doing this daily can help to recharge and replenish your spirit. And when you are kind and forgiving towards yourself being the same towards others comes so easily.