Take Good Care of Yourself
In this month’s newsletter, I chose to write about the
importance of nurturing and treating ourselves lovingly. At first
this may seem to be an odd, or even a selfish choice. After all,
Valentine’s Day is traditionally about expressing our love
for others—not ourselves. But when we take care of ourselves,
everyone around us reaps the benefits.
In order to be the loving and supportive mothers, fathers, sons,
daughters, brothers, sisters and friends that we want to be, we
need to love and nurture ourselves—physically, emotionally,
and spiritually. The adage about filling our own cups so that
we have something to give to others is very true. It is simply
not possible to give from an empty cup. But when our own cups
are full, we’re likely to have an abundance of energy and
love to share.
I can’t help but chuckle as I remember the old saying,
“When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
If you’re a mama or a papa, you can be assured that your
children are affected by your happiness as well as your unhappiness.
And as their role model, taking care of yourself and pursuing
your own passions gives them permission to do the same.
But don’t mistake nurturing yourself with a self-absorbed
preoccupation with improving your image. While it’s normal
to take pride in our accomplishments and to try and look our best,
people who become obsessed with their image are not capable of
truly loving themselves or others. Their experiences and relationships
are greatly limited by a lack of depth. Because they see everyone
else through the same superficial lens that they view themselves,
they are capable of using and manipulating others in a futile
attempt to try and preserve their fragile sense of self.
To the degree that one’s identity is based on an image,
one is not in contact with one’s being. When a person loses
the ability to know himself, he feels empty inside--with nothing
to give to himself or others. And all the looks, accomplishments,
and possessions in the world cannot fill the void.
We can become more loving to ourselves and others by nurturing
our bodies, minds, and souls. By doing so, we strengthen the connection
to our higher selves and to the divine. By connecting to the God
force, or the universal energy, we tap into an infinite flow of
love which we can pass along to others. The more love we receive,
the more we can give. And the more love we give, the more we will
Nurturing ourselves and
our connection to God:
Take a few minutes to be quiet, each and every
day. If you have young children, you might try waking up fifteen
minutes earlier, in order to have a few minutes of reflective
time to start your day.
Express appreciation and gratitude to everyone
you interact with during the day.
Become aware of your thoughts, directing all
those that start with “I am,” toward positive statements
Demonstrate compassion and empathy through your
actions, words, and thoughts. Look for the good in each and every
Take care of your health by exercising and eating
Do the things that make you happy and bring
Spend time in nature and have reverence for
every living thing.