When taking care of ourselves, we are taking care of others. It might be counterintuitive. There is a circle service can turn us in. I give to you, I take care of you, I start realizing at some level that I’m not being taken care of, I hold you responsible now for my neglect, and then around again. Some support this pattern from cultural influences. Some with intuition.
This can be a place we find ourselves in our relationship to anything or anyone. Employment or even unemployment. We may find ourselves saying things like why me, or feeling like we are selected out by some greater force to suffer. Any time self-reflection whispers anything about the word “victim,” look for the “circle-walk.”
Now some listening to this might say service is the best thing of their lives and imply that without service, life isn’t right. Sure. However, that’s not my argument. Mine is that taking care of one’s own self is also a form of service to others. In fact, let’s boldly put taking care of one’s self at the top of the service list. Standing up there can feel awkward, presumptive, selfish, unChristian. What does it feel like for you?
I’m told this is hard. It is. We just try our best. Every day we try again. Every moment we remember, we try. My husband often says, “God is a God of second chances.” I think He wants us to treat ourselves with as much courtesy.
In addictions therapy, we tell the addict that a relapse isn’t a failure, it is part of the road to recovery. When we take care of ourselves, we may find ourselves up against any number of forces, including patterned negative behaviors. We can learn from the brave people fighting the disease of addiction. When we don’t treat ourselves well, we are not a failure. Rather we are on the road to becoming a better friend to ourselves. That also takes courage.
Onward and upward my friends! Let me know what you think.
Self Care Tip #28 – Look at your own side of the fence. Be a friend to yourself.