Friday, July 29, 2011

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others

If you don't take care of yourself, you can't be much use to anyone else. It's impossible to spread happiness to others, if you yourself aren't happy.

It's not that we should be self-centered. There's a difference between selfishness and self-care. It's just that we need to eat right, sleep well, get exercise, breathe, enjoy rest and quiet, and spend time laughing with friends. We need to be able to express love and feel loved. This is all part of the care and feeding that every human being in the world needs, that is more or less the human birthright.

In fact, I suspect that most selfishness in the world is at least in part the by-product of a failure to care properly for and feed the self. Because if our souls are well tended, how could we substitute something as spiritually thin as the hoarding of wealth for something as spiritually rich as sharing?

So if you are tired, rest. If you are weak, stretch! If you are lonely or in pain or depressed, call a friend. If you feel ashamed or guilty, don't beat yourself up! Forgive yourself. Take one step at a time back toward the light. Whatever the next step is, is the only step you need to focus on right now. Learn to trust that if you truly want to do better, God has already forgiven you completely.

Whatever time and energy we need to take to water the garden of our souls, to sun and feed and weed it till it begins to blossom freely, is time and energy well spent.

If you're to give the world some flavor, make sure your salt has savor! If you want to be able to love others, love yourself.

I'm getting ready to take some time off, on a much needed, long-deferred honeymoon with my sweetheart! See you when I get back! And in the meantime, take care of yourselves!


jen said...

Have a wonderful time away!

For the longest time, I thought anything I did for myself equaled selfishness. I didn't understand how beautiful love could be.

I now love me. Take care of me. Serve me. And I've found it is so easy to love others from this place. No more forcing myself to do anything.

calibosmom said...

I couldn't agree more! Jesus says, "Love thy neighbor AS THY SELF". I think somethimes we forget the "As thyself" part-focusing completely on others. You can't truly love another person if you loath yourself. Thank you for the reminder!