Energetically Speaking - Self-Care
Self-care is a term that generates a range of responses. Some folks are all for it. Others swear they don’t have time for it. Still others think it equates to selfishness. Some think it sounds good but aren’t quite sure what it really means. Self-care is as simple and basic as it sounds. Taking care of yourself.
Self-care does not mean creating a laundry list of every single thing that you think is wrong with you and trying to fix it. Nobody is perfect. Nobody every will be. We are all human. Self-care is about trying to make your flawed self as happy as you can be on any given day. Happiness is contagious. By engaging in self-care and becoming happier, you open the door for the people around you to be happier too.
This can mean giving yourself a date night. It can mean a relaxing bath with bubbles and candles. It can also mean taking a walk or making other healthy choices. It can also be as simple as listening to your favorite music. Speaking up for yourself is a form of self-care. There are opportunities for self-care dozens of times each day.
Self-care doesn’t need to be scheduled or a big production, though it can be at times. Self-care is about the small choices we make each day that helps determine our levels of happiness and self-satisfaction. The more we care for ourselves, the more we are able to happily care for and about everything and everyone else in our lives.
"Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others."
- Parker Palmer
Self-care has its darker relatives – selfishness and self-sacrifice. They are all related, but the energetic vibration attached to each of them is very different. Selfishness is when others and their desires are completely disregarded. Self-sacrifice is when others and their desires are satisfied, often with resentment, and you and your desires are disregarded. Self-care enables one to satisfy both others and themselves.
Imagine there is a show on television that you have really been looking forward to watching. Just as it is about to begin, someone you care about comes to you and asks for help with a project they are struggling with.
The selfish response is, “Too bad. You should have asked me sooner.”
The self-sacrifice response is, “Oh, alright. I never get to do what I want. Come on. Let’s get this over with.”
The self-care response is, “I’ll help you. Just let me record this show first so I can watch it later.”
Each day with every interaction we create ripples of energy. Selfishness sends out ripples of neglect and hurt. Self-sacrifice sends out ripples out of guilt and shame. Self-care sends out ripples of contentment, satisfaction, and joy. Most of the time, what we send out is what we get back. Which of these energies would you prefer to send out into the universe?
If you really want to take care of others, make sure to take care of yourself.