Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

So many of us spend our time taking care of others. Our relationships have become ones of giving and supporting those closest to us.

And then we forget how to take care of ourselves.

When we think of taking care of ourselves, the inner critic tells us it is selfish and self indulgent to put our own needs first.  It reminds us of how we want to be seen by others… as caring supportive and kind. Never selfish and self absorbed.

We see ourselves based on the roles we have played. It’s easy to become chained to these supportive and caring roles of the past.

Somewhere along the way we lose touch with who we are. The choices we make become based on the needs of others, and our own needs are buried and hidden in a stuffed aching drawer inside of us.

I came across these words that feel authentic and true.

“Self indulgence is different from self care. Self indulgence feeds the sense of being a separate self. When we become self indulgent, our life is about the little separate me…

Self care means that we listen to our core needs, set reasonable boundaries with others, and live in balance. It also means that we question our limiting beliefs that create suffering for ourselves and others. It means that we live in a growing integrity with a deeper truth that we are not separate from anyone. Genuine self care frees us to be more selfless.”

~ John J Prendergast from “In Touch”

We know not to listen to the voice of self indulgence. Yet we must learn to listen to the voice that counsels compassion and care for our true being. Caring for our deepest sense of Being in the world.

Genuine self care brings life into balance and opens our heart to ourselves. With an open heart we open a door to recognizing and bringing compassion to the world.Β  This is the way to real freedom and awakening to the connectivity of us all.

Namaste

38 comments on “Taking Care

  1. Thank you for this, Val. I need to show it to my father. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Part of my self-care is reading your blog, Val!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Implicit in what Prendergast says is an unhindered self-awareness. That has to precede self-care and is easier to write than to achieve!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, I agree Val. It’s all about balance. Self care has a bad rap but we really need to adhere to some basic self care rituals to go the long haul. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. I love the image, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good advice, Val. Hard to follow sometimes, especially for some people. We are complex.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like this distinction. It helps a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very useful advice, Val! It’s taken me a long time to learn this lesson, and sometimes I still fail to see the difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When external demands seem strong it’s easy to lose sight of our innate inner being. We all need this reminder Helen πŸ’•

      Like

  8. This is exactly what I and a few others posted this week! There is definitely a need for self-care and nurturing! Great reminder β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ’š

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “It reminds us of how we want to be seen by others… as caring supportive and kind. Never selfish and self absorbed.”

    That statement jumped out at me, Val.

    Any time we “want to be seen by others” in a certain way, it means we’re using an external yardstick instead of an inner compass to measure our actions. That’s problematic because (1) we can’t control how others see us (since how they see us is often a reflection of who they are and, also, their perspective is limited); and (2) it encourages us to look for approval from others to bolster our self-image and ego.

    Using an internal compass is so much easier. We choose to be caring supportive and kind because being that way makes us feel good . . . even if no one notices.

    Plus, we are more apt to notice when WE are in need of our self care and concern.

    Keep breathing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true Nancy. Yet many folks have been externally focused for so long, they are quite lost when it comes to recognizing and taking care of their own needs. This is a message for so many caring people. πŸ’›

      Like

  10. “Selfish” is not a bad word. One need only think of it in a different context. I’ve comfortably chosen to be selfish many times because I know what that action then enables me to do – better. Excellent topic, Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m open. I’m listening.

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on Live Your Tao and commented:
    Thank You Val ❀

    Like

  13. I spent time in my studio last night — it was a conscious choice to give myself self-care. Getting, and being always conscious of my own needs is a daily decision. Sometimes, I do better than others! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for this Val. A lovely reminder to step into self-conscious choice for self-care.

    And is the painting yours? It’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Louise for adding your wisdom here. Creating space for ourselves is so important when we are carers of others. It isn’t my painting. Looks like the credit got lost when I retrieved it from an earlier post. I do love it too!

      Like

  14. So true! And this is a hard one for me, since my elderly mother is becoming more dependent upon me by the day, and I do want to take care of her. At the same time, I don’t want to lose myself in that caregiver role. What makes things even more complicated is the fact that the rest of my family also sees me primarily as a caregiver. Have to stand up to their perception of me as well, and that’s not easy. Thanks for the timely post!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Carol Ferenc

    This really resonates with me as my 91-year-old father is becoming more and more dependent on me. An important lesson to keep in mind. Thank you, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Very true! The fine line between compassion and self-care becomes blurred sometimes …have to keep coming back to your true self with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good subject. It took me years to figure it out then I actually listened to the airline attendant talk about placing the oxygen mask on your own face first so you were alive to help your children or others. If we don’t pay attention to our own needs, our body has a way of bringing it to our attention. Not always in the best way.

    Liked by 1 person

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