This is really quite hard.
For example, an analogy was spoken to me earlier today. If I have a nice comfortable bed to sleep on, but I know someone who doesn’t, then the ultimate “love others as yourself” would be that I buy them a nice comfortable bed to sleep on.
Out of my abundance, my love pours onto others. This love can look like money, possessions, a kind word, a smile, a hug, or simply, love. Just a thought that I love the person standing in front of me.
But when I’m not able to love someone as myself, when I’m not in an abundance, or a place to be generous, what happens?
When I decide to take care of myself, what does this mean, for myself, and for others?
Self-care for me personally, looks like quiet time. It is me, in my room, with the door closed, listening to music, reading, thinking, pondering, wondering, processing. This can look very different to each of us.
You can go to a spa, to the movies, for a manicure. Treat yourself. You can close your door, turn off your phone, close your eyes. Still yourself. You can take a nap, go for a walk, sit in nature. Calm yourself. You can run, lift weights, eat. Power yourself.
How you take care of yourself can be very different to how someone else might take care of themselves.
There is one thing, though, that I believe is certain about self-care. It is short lived, and it is needed more often, the more we keep neglecting our needs.
As a person who gives an extensive amount of time and other resources, I often find I run on empty. I need to refuel, refill, and re-energize, daily. Often more than once a day.
The demands that are placed on us are far too often more than the resources we have to give. But our relationships are far too valuable.
So where is the balance between self-care and caring for others?
We each have a rhythm. My rhythm is a lot of quiet time, a lot of time reflecting and learning, a lot of time growing. When these things fill me up, when I’ve read enough, sang enough, thought, pondered, and wondered enough, I get to be joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, loving, good, gentle, faithful to my friends and family and most importantly, in control.
I’m not tired, worn out, too busy, overwhelmed, bombarded, needing someone to take care of me first.
I’m full. The rhythm of my heart is just as it should be. I have an abundance of all things good and that love, and everything else that goes along with it, can pour out all over others. My needs are taken care of. First.
I am no good in taking care of another, until my needs are met, first. This can take some time, trial and error to learn. But it is worth the struggle. Once you find your pace, your life will change.
Your relationships will be more fulfilling. The amount of people you take care of will be greater and but the work will be lighter. You will be filled with so much love that you can share it all around you, all of the time.
You are loved. You are worthy. You are a beautiful woman that gives so much. Take care of what you need so that those who need you, can be taken care of, all around you.