The practice of self-care has been a struggle for me. Even though I encourage clients to practice self-care, in truth I considered it selfish and indulgent. Pride told me I can juggle work, kids, elderly parents, excessive volunteer work, unrealistic demands, lack of sleep. Yes, I can do it all. Until my soul is empty and I become the mom who never smiles or laughs and daydreams about running away. And so, 7 years ago I repented of my pride and began learning how to live this life differently.
Self-care isn’t necessarily about massages and pedicures and “me time”. At the heart of healthy self-care is acknowledging you have a soul that needs to be fed. Self-care is owning the responsibility you have to make that happen. The bottom line is when you are burned out – whose job is it to get you filled up? Who can make sure that you slow down and reconnect with the source of your strength? Who can make you be still and silent?
Self-care is about connection. If you read through the gospel accounts of Jesus you will see that he often withdrew to quiet places. Even when there were people who needed him, he withdrew. All around him were people who needed sickness healed, blindness restored, and demons removed. Even when there was more to do, and maybe because there was more to do, he modeled for us how to withdraw and refuel our spirit through connection with the Father.
Self-care can ultimately be about fueling ourselves in order to love and serve others. What if you saw self-care as a means of getting filled so that you can pour out? What if your service was dependent on you first receiving? What if you really do have to put your own air mask on before you assist others?
Would love to hear your thoughts and how you practice self-care.