One of the best things we can do for those we love is to care enough about ourselves, so we can be there for them when they need us. We each know how to show affection to another person by telling them we love them, or by doing something that will please them. Yet, another way to care for those we love is to keep ourselves healthy, vibrant and present in their lives. We offer those we love the biggest gift when we are reliable, calm and able to be responsive to them because we have the energy to give to them.
When we are in a healthy space, mentally refreshed and physically strong, we are capable to do all that may be requested of us by those we love. We are able to be smart, funny, thoughtful, energetic, and endearing when we are feeling good about ourselves inside and out. In order to be in a good space, we must take care of ourselves, tending to our inner needs and outer demands by eating healthy foods, getting proper sleep and removing toxins from our minds by loving ourselves.
Those that we love may value us for many different reasons, but the one thing we all have in common is being needed or wanted for the attention and energy we give them. We give our love through the attention and awareness that we bestow on others. When we love someone, we show it by paying attention to them. Sometime this might be a challenge due to time schedules or limitations, or the burdens of responsibility we carry. Still, we can make time for those we wish too, even if its only a quick moment of recognition.
Feeling burnt-out, overburdened or stressed-out can make us unavailable to ourselves and those we love. We start to enter coping mechanism, adopting habits to lessen the strain we feel without noticing it's only making matters harder to deal with for everyone. It’s important to take notice of ourselves before we begin to check-out, by developing habits that support our health. Once we have an understanding of what our limits are, it becomes easier to keep a regular routine to keep our balance.
Those that we care about need to see us taking care of ourselves, just as much as seeing us taking care of them, because it helps to teach them the values we want them to carry. Self-care is a form of self-love and it is priceless. It is not about being the most important person, in an egoic sort of way, but allowing ourselves to see our own value in terms of our role as an interactive partner with others. When we tend to ourselves and stay healthy, we are able to give the gift of our healthy selves to others.
An individual’s health impacts everyone in their family and to a larger degree their friends and community. When we are each taking care of our health, we all become stronger as a group. Health is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves, as it allows us to fully participate in life. Health reminds us that there is so much to be grateful for every moment of our lives that we can use all our faculties without pain or limitations. Health is a blessing!
Some may think that health is our physical body, our strength, our ability to use our limbs or our resilience from getting sick, yet true health goes beyond our physicality, encompassing all our thoughts, emotions, concerns and dreams. We might look healthy outwardly and be very unbalanced within, carrying burdens and ill thoughts that steal our precious life-force as easily as being struck by a cold.
We each handle stress differently, coping differently, but our path to health is shared because we all respond to self-love the same way, we flourish. Our symptoms might not be similar, but our treatment is the same, love, pure and simple love. We can show ourselves love in a variety of ways, each a powerful medicine to soothe the aches hidden within, enabling us to grow stronger and more resilient. This kind of self-love doesn’t really require a big time commitment, rather it’s a state of awareness that is cultivated and sustained with our consistent remembering of our own value.
For some coming to terms with their value is the challenge, having been told otherwise and perhaps adopting a not-so-honoring view of themselves, or maybe having done something they’re still unable to reconcile, leaving the monster within to continually suffer. We must admit to ourselves what we believe about ourselves before we can remedy those beliefs. We must all allow self-forgiveness as a pathway to self-love.