Self-Care is Love in Action
lIt’s brave and courageous to commit to a self-care practice, even though this is not how our society, or most people view self-care. Many cultural messages assert that self-care is indulgent and selfish. If you have heard those messages, caring for yourself may slip into the background of your consciousness. When you do, you may forget you even have needs at all.
However, if you take good care of yourself, you are better able to be of service to others. This is why self-care is love in action.
If you tend toward the Rescuer role in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT), you may believe that your role in life is to focus on everyone else’s needs over your own. If you do, the reality that caring for yourself first helps expand your capability to care for others may have escaped you.
Self-care is not selfish. It is an act of generosity toward yourself, so you have the strength and energy to support others. If you embrace love of yourself—not a narcissistic or self-centered love—that arises from a genuine and generous love for all beings and things, it opens the way to teach love through your example to others.
One place to start beginning a self-care practice is to know when to say “no.” The small little word, “no” helps you to set boundaries and care for yourself. When you do, you are turning toward yourself with love.
For many, turning toward oneself may mean confronting the idea that self-care must be a long and expensive spa weekend or a vacation just for yourself. It is less about the amount of time and more about your intention to nurture your own spirit that makes the difference.
A genuine and sustaining self-care practice begins with a belief that you are worthy of caring for yourself. If, at your core, you do not believe you are deserving of a life that nurtures self-love, those “spa” moments may seem selfish and unfulfilling.
Sustainable self-care is an inside-out process. It is formed with a clear belief and intention to support and love yourself through the choices you make.
Once you believe and set an intention to care for yourself, brief moments of turning toward yourself can become deeply nurturing. Simply pausing for a few minutes and intentionally turning towards yourself can be surprisingly renewing. Your intentional self-care moments may be a few minutes of silence, a short walk in nature, or doodling just because doodling makes you smile. It may be dancing to a special song you love.
In all these instances, it is your intention to turn toward yourself with loving appreciation that is essential. This is not romantic love, per se, but creating a loving energetic space within and all around yourself.
If you are generating love in and through yourself, you will extend the love energy outward. Others will feel it flowing from you and “like will attract like.”
This is a foundational truth of what it means to be a loving human being. Maybe that’s why over 30 countries around the world celebrate Valentines Day—a flow of giving and receiving love.
Here’s a question to ask yourself that will help put you on the path of self-care: “How would I care for anything that I truly value?” The answer will give you powerful insights into how to begin and sustain your own self-care practice.
Embracing self-care is an essential ingredient of nurturing who you are as a Creator. You will be modeling and teaching love, which very well may be the most important thing you can do to help change the world for the better.