Every year people make resolutions or set these ridiculous ideals for resolutions. I think each year is just a continuation of the next and just a continued journey. So with that idea, my intention (not a resolution or goal) this year is to share more about me (through cathartic writing) and self care. Because my writing is a form of self care for me, putting out to the universe my experience, sharing that through my experience or struggle, I or you, are not alone.
As a woman, mother, caretaker, housekeeper, chef, athlete, business owner, you name it; I am often overextended on time and efforts. Giving to everyone else and never enough to myself. Then when I would, or did [give to myself] I often felt a level of guilt. Guilty for buying myself some clothes from the local Goodwill. Because I am all about recycling, why buy new when “used” works just fine, I digress. Guilty for getting a massage because I have awful thoracic mobility, I grind my teeth and have horrible headaches. Guilty for investing in myself. Finally, I stopped feeling guilty, all those feelings were increasing my stress, increasing my negative hormone levels, increasing the negativity in my brain.
Taking a brisk walk through my neighborhood to clear my mind one day on lunch, I began listening to a podcast. The message was about self care, self love and how taking care of yourself, loving yourself will allow you to give more to others. The thought was selfish at first, but then I recalled how unselfish the act of self care really is in day-to-day life.
Self care could be just taking a bath, relaxing and enjoying that small quiet moment, while soaking in the warmth of the soothing water. Taking a walk to just enjoy the peace and quiet. Going shopping for yourself, without the kids, and not grocery shopping. Coloring in a coloring book. Reading a good book. Praying and quiet meditation in the morning. Whatever self care looks like to you.
Reading my devotionals I am reminded of the grace of Jesus in regard to self care. I often forget his grace on me in my own selfish daily routine. I forget how much strength I can draw from giving up the earthly struggles to him. While not everyone may share my beliefs or practice, I do believe there is the power of just giving up those negative feelings to the universe. Allowing what you will (the universe, God, Buddha, whatever that looks like to you) into daily life, embracing the positive and negative and knowing a lesson exists in those moments.
The moment of my podcast I was reminded of God’s grace, the ability to say to Him, “I want to be healed” just as he did to the crippled man in the book of John. In my healing, I know I can be whole. In my wholeness, I can be the true me. Through mental healing and giving Him my struggles, I can see my struggles as strength and give strength to others. In my self care, in my self love, I can give care and give love without burden.
If the process sounds simple, if the act sounds simple, I suppose the process and the act are just that, simple. If stress and neglect can overwhelm us in the most simplest fashion, why does releasing those negative effects have to be anything but simple? We need to practice more self care in order to give care. The universe, God, our lives offer the opportunity, but do we take those opportunities or do we just fill them with more “stuff?” Do we truly use the tools, time, love and beauty of this life to the full potential for ourselves and others?