Self-care – the gift of you
Taking care of yourself is something most people do every day. You eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired, clean your teeth and shower, and you go out into the world dressed for the occasion.
So why do we need to look at self-care? Aren’t we all (pretty much) doing it already?
Self-care is first and foremost, about you. It’s about you caring for you, but perhaps not in the way you think.
The word 'care' in self-care is akin to a present that is wrapped in a giant bow just waiting to be opened.
Caring for someone has different meanings in our world; it might mean taking care of an elderly or unwell person, and some people make a living as a professional carer, or it might mean having loving feelings towards someone, that they are important in your life, as in you care for them, or it might simply be that you take care of yourself as in you eat healthfully and exercise.
When it comes to self-care the “present” in the caring is that it has a quality about it that cannot but truly care for you. A quality that means it is intentionally and undoubtedly truly caring in every sense of the word.
Qualities like gentleness in how you move, how you speak to yourself and how you go about your day
Qualities like tenderness that insists when you are tired or weary that you be tender with yourself as you continue whatever you still need to do
Qualities like self-honesty that asks you if what you are eating and drinking is actually really taking care of your unique body
Qualities like kindness that says first and foremost be kind to yourself, and then it will without question be there for everyone else.
The quality of true caring insists that you are important, that you are worth caring for. The quality of true caring insists that in not having that true care, there is a sense of dismissing the wonderous being that you are.
The true care we speak of is not common in the world. What is more common is thinking that caring for yourself is the almost perfunctory work of having a shower, or clean clothes, or maybe going to the Doctor for a check-up, and of course getting some regular exercise. All of these things are important, and without doubt necessary, but what happens when you add a quality of tenderness to having a shower? Perhaps you emerge from that shower more aware of the preciousness you are. What happens when you add a quality of self-honesty to what you are eating? Is that so called healthy low-fat (typically high sugar) yoghurt really caring for your body, or is it just a quick “pick me up sugar hit” because you didn’t have enough sleep?
When the quality of true care is brought from you, for you, the experience of daily life transforms.
The care in self-care is like having a permanent gift for yourself that you open each and every day as you wake in the morning, and wraps you in care as you close your eyes to sleep, knowing the care you have been to yourself that day.