Are you Taking Care of You?
Let’s look at a fundamental part of conscious relating that has nothing directly to do with another person, yet has everything to do with the quality of our connection. It has everything to do with how we relate to ourselves. In order to consciously relate to another, we must first relate consciously to ourselves. In other words, we must care for ourselves first.
We must care for ourselves first
I must admit up front that this aspect of conscious relating has not come easily to me. As a matter of fact, I have to continuously stay conscious of how well I am taking care of myself. For those of you who put you at the bottom of the priority list and think of self-care as a foreign idea… it’s ok. I sympathize with you and I can also say how incredibly important it is. My whole experience of life changes when I take care of myself! I’m happier, kinder, more inspired and more abundant!
Many of us are committed to making a difference in the world or we know others are depending on us. As a result, we choose to prioritize others before ourselves. Others might show up in the form of our families, companies, friends or community projects – any person or activity that we put our focus on and give our energy too. Yet, if we do not care for ourselves we cannot truly care for others.
It took me years to see the truth of this. I told myself that taking care of me or even saying that I needed anything was selfish, needy, weak and a whole host of other disempowering things I used to tell myself. I’d grown up responsible and decided I could do anything and didn’t need anyone.
After years of serving the corporate business world I was exhausted and pretty unhappy. I had no idea how to really take care of myself. I had no idea what I needed. I would ask myself and have no idea. If someone asked me what I needed, I would say “nothing.” I was in self-denial and I was exhausted and continuously overwhelmed. Over the years as I explored this aspect of my life, I uncovered many beliefs, vows, and self-judgments (i.e. non-forgiveness of myself) that made it nearly impossible for me to be anywhere on the priority list. After releasing much pain and many stories from the past, I am now free to honor and support myself while I honor and support others.
I’ve actually come to realize that it is only when I truly take care of myself that I can fully take care of another. I’ve recognized that when I am depleted I am short with answers, my radiance fades, compassion is elusive, inspiration wanes and I have to rely on perspiration to muscle through it. When I’m full – when I’ve slept enough, when I’ve eaten healthy food, when I’ve moved my body, when I’ve spent quality time with friends and loved ones – everyone wins. There is more laughter, more love, more lightheartedness, more inspiration. Forgiveness and compassion come easily. Living from my heart become effortless.
I can only fully take care of another when I have taken care of me.
I invite you to do one thing today just for you and then while you’re at it, why don’t you pull out your calendar and schedule at least one hour of “you” time each week for the next month. Notice any resistances that arise and notice how you feel when you make you a priority.
Make self-care a priority.
In love, light and ecstasy,
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.