The most important relationship you have in this life is the one you have with yourself. Honoring that relationship is the primary essence of self-care. Self-care isn’t just about the way we accept our bodies, by discussing nutrition and calories, although those are potent components. Self-care includes all aspects of how we nourish our bodies, minds, and souls.
It is the whole YOU package that honors and nurtures your necessary needs. Standing in and owning your self-care needs nourishes your entire life, who you are, and how you want to live. It is like when you are on a plane before takeoff, and the flight attendant gives instructions for what to do in case there is a decrease in cabin air pressure. Passengers are instructed to put on their own oxygen mask first, before assisting anyone else. Quite simply, we cannot give to anyone what we do not have within ourselves. By taking care of yourself more, you can give more to others.
Self-care is your oxygen mask. Once you know how to place its property, it will stay in place for the rest of your life. It is the act of filling your cup first and foremost before offering the flow to others. When you fill your cup, you are taking care of your needs by nourishing your body, mind, and soul, there will be an overflow of abundance to go around.
Self-care is the essence of your life, as important as air, water, the act of breathing, food nourishment, and shelter. Sometimes, we confuse self-care with pampering ourselves. Although some pampering is certainly lovely every now and it is not the root of self-care. Self-care is the action you take to care for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. All of those aspects are absolutely integrated into our health.
Making yourself a priority is the ripple of self-love. When you do that, you create a flow of goodness for every impact in your presence. While it might not seem obvious, at the heart of self-care is the idea of self-love, which over-extends to support the concept of self-compassion, self-worth, self-respect, self-kindness and any other thought or belief you have about your own values and needs.
In reality, underneath almost all suffering lies a lack of self-love. We can have so much control over what we experience in life by learning to Love, Ourselves. Sounds simple, but I know how enormously challenging it can be for many of us. The other reflective piece of self-love principals is genuinely loving and celebrating others in our lives, which connects and unites loving ourselves first. It directly links the ability to love yourself and honor your self-love completely. Self-love is an essential part of the self-care process.
In case the need for self-love isn’t immediately apparent to you, here are a few signs to look for. If you find yourself doing this, you need some loving attention.
- You are quick to criticize yourself.
- You don’t take care of your body the way you’d like because “other things” are more important.
- You place other people’s needs above your own so often that you are worn down and depleted.
- You spend sleepless nights replaying dramas that you wish you’d handled differently, inwardly beating yourself up over them.
- You tend to make your emotional pain worse by turning to addictions as a way to soothe.
- You seem to have a lot of crises in your life.
- Your inner voice has a way of speaking to you negatively.
Do you resonate with any of these circumstances? Primarily, our self-love and the way we care for ourselves, in general, is reflected in our behaviors and way of being. The quality of our approach to living, with whom we choose to spend time with, the image we project and how we approach challenges is the inner dialogue to life.
Self- love teaches us to see all of this with new awareness. After all, we deserve to be treated lovingly, and self-care is the soft spot to self-love. We need to tell ourselves the truth with love and kindness, honestly. It is having the willingness to see things differently and honor our values. Self-love offers us the opportunity to tap into all levels of forgiveness. It means not having to be right all the time; letting yourself off the hook if you’ve tried your best and things didn’t turn out right. It is ok to be ok.
Focus on the positive energy of self-love and self-care. We get to experience life in a new and refreshing way. It is part of our daily journey; you can experience the following:
- Let down your guard.
- Accept imperfection as a human condition.
- Stay neutral in your reflections and avoid the harsh judgment of yourself and others.
- View life with loving eyes. Everything is new and beautiful
- Honor your own growth and development process. You go at your own pace.
- Commit to loving yourself in small ways. Be thankful for your hair, your eyes that see, your taste buds, etc.
- Pledge to talk to yourself with love-kindness.
- Express your love to others.
Challenge yourself and bring awareness to your inner conversations. How do you talk to yourself throughout the day? What tone of voice do you use? How does it make you feel? Write down in your journal at least 7 things you say to yourself regularly and whether you see them as positive or negative. Then start with a loving-kindness quote.
Love yourself because you are worth it.