Definitely not a subject taught at school in my day. Nor something, parents taught their children at home either. And as far as I know, nothing much has changed. More’s the shame, because it’s like being given a brand new BMW car and never being told to occasionally check the tyre pressure, oil or water, in it. It might make do between service checks, but unless we do these things on a regular basis, chances are it will never run optimally.
People are no different. They will chug along as best they can, but their performance will fall far short of operating to their capacity and as a rule, their journey will likely be a whole lot rockier and often shorter.
So, if it’s not just the ego, saying me, me, me, then what is Self-Care, and how do you practice it?
To start with, Self-Care, is about Self-Awareness. What are you doing now, that honours your Higher-Self. What are you doing now that diminishes your being. Like unhealthy coping mechanisms etc. Then there is Self-Acceptance of your whole self, not just the parts you like. The other parts too. And Self-Evaluation this is a good one to assess both, those things that are, and those things that are no longer working for you. Which brings us to Self-Knowledge. We need to create our own Knowledge. Which means thinking about our own qualities, beliefs and values etc. not someone elses. So really get up close and personal with yourself. Find out what your qualities, abilities capacities, values and desires are and also what barriers you see that prevent you from learning to be your best, authentic self.
A good way of getting a true picture of how you presently see yourself, is to write down the qualities you love about yourself in the following areas:
Hopefully, you are now seeing that Self-Care, is not about being selfish or self-indulgent, it is about self-protection, and self-preservation, and the way we do that, is by knowing ourselves better. Identifying our core values and knowing what helps us thrive, and what sucks the life out of us. Consequently, our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect. That’s why it is important to know how you feel, so that you can respond in such a way as to let the beauty of life touch you.
After all, what’s the point of only half turning-up for life. We need to be our full-self, or we’re just a pale impression, a shadow, of who we could have been. Like the Message of the Dying said: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. I don’t want that on my tombstone. And I’m sure you don’t either.
We might have to make some changes, to assist us with our new Self-Care plan. Not everything that feels good, is good for us. Unfortunately. But Self-Care is a Priority, Not a Luxury, so, be kind to yourself, and make the changes. It really is worth it, and here are just a few the benefits: Greater Self-growth; Improved Health and Well-Being; Better Productivity; Increased levels of Energy; Stronger Immune System Support; Better Stress Management; Increased Resilience; Reduced Mental Health Symptoms, etc, etc,
As if the above-mentioned benefits aren’t enough, getting to know ourselves better in this way, increases our ability to Love and Care for ourselves and also others. Our capacity to care beyond empathy will be awakened and we will be able to love compassionately.
Surely, as we humans are wired to know our full potential, it makes sense for us to strive towards that. True, we are not born knowing how to go about this, not even taught about it, in our developing years, however, the word is out, it is spreading, and we need to listen to it. And much of that message, is telling us, that we need to direct our search inside ourselves if we want to find the answers. We just need to unlock the door. They are all there, waiting.
For you, the real you, to return to where you belong. And one of the main keys is in the envelope marked Self-Care. So, open it up and commence your practice immediately. You’ll no doubt wonder why you took so long to open it.