Perfectly Imperfect: My take on Self-Care

I've been invited to participate and give my two cents on self-care, by the sublimely lovely Tamarisk Saunders-Davies and Mara Glatzel, who are gathering up some positive and truth-telling voices to offer another view.  You can check out all of the posts by clicking on the link above.  But I'd be ever so honored if you read mine while you're here.  Thanks!

Self-care is simply being ok with and accepting all of yourself.  And being ok with one’s self is embracing and accepting your needs, desires and bottom lines. Otherwise, we relegate the soul to riding shotgun so something else gets to drive what we think we should want, do, say, or be.

If the word self-care triggers you, or its counterpart, “self-love” activates the 12-year old boy humor in you, to the point where it renders it useless, use a different word.  Find a word that has the gravitas and advocacy you require, with lightness you need to make it palpable.

Self-care lets judgment of your needs and boundaries melt away.  That includes your judgment and the judgment of others.  It’s a ‘who cares?’  If you need and want something, you need and want it.  It’s not meant to be a question of worthiness, nor a test of mettle.  If something will serve you, it will likely serve your greater good- and anyone who is touched by your work or presence.  No one is damaged by true self-care.

It’s easy to think a want or need not worthy and berate yourself of having it, especially if it’s not in alignment with who you think you want to be.  It’s easy to think you shouldn’t want or need things.  And, it’s easy to feel shamed by others if your wants and needs, whether simple or grand.  This isn’t just not in service of you; it’s dissing the guidance of your soul.

When the soul is riding shotgun, or worse, in the backseat, along for the ride for another’s destination, it isn’t able to guide you.  I think of our wants and desires as a north star (and I have and will write more about this).  Our guiding stars lead us in the direction we are to grow.  While it might look like we know what lies under that star, we don’t know what is there until we arrive.  It might even be something beyond, but it points the way.

Our wants, needs and desires are the compass of the soul.  Honoring our wants, needs and desires is critical self-care and the affirmation of our very being here.  Navigating by starlight is the stuff of legend, but it’s the simple allowing and meeting of our needs that plots our journey.  Self-care, no matter how simple or grand is our guide in getting us closer to wholeness, actualization and that which is possible.

So Buttercup, don’t flog your wild dreams (the grand) and don’t berate your need for a bubble bath (the simple).  And please don’t let anyone else do that either.  Denial and withholding is a bog of despair, anger and well, bullshit.  You want what you want and you need what you need.  Me too!

Truth and depth in real life can feel like a never ending game of hide and seek.  Listening to and honoring your own self-care, whatever those wants and needs might be, offers the clues and clears the path to find and be at peace with them.  Self-care is a way to be human and a tool in accepting all of yourself, your truth and finding peace within.

Definitely worth wild dreams, a bubble bath and all of that in between, whatever it may be.  Don't you think?

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