We do not live in isolation.
We depend on others.
Others depend on us.
We’ve got jobs.
We’ve got families.
We’ve got friends.
We’ve got communities.
This interdependence can function as a double-edged sword.
It can promote feelings of connectedness and integration.
However, it can also lead to pressure.
Pressure to provide.
Pressure to perform.
Pressure to take care of the people and processes that depend on us.
This pressure makes committing time and energy to ourselves seem counterproductive.
As though focusing any of our resources on ourselves, rather than others, is selfish.
So we don’t prioritize ourselves.
We don’t prioritize nourishment.
We don’t prioritize movement.
We don’t prioritize sleep.
We don’t prioritize reflection.
In the short term, this works.
We’re able to do the thing.
In the long run, however, we start to slip.
Not only do we lose the ability to take pleasure in what life offers.
We lose our ability to serve and provide.
We’ve been taking care of everything and everybody but ourselves.
It’s eroding at our capacity to play our unique role in the lives of others.
And it’s starting to show.
We’re not living up to our potential and we know it.
I’ve been there.
You’ve been there.
This is not the only way.
There’s a more sustainable, more effective, approach to service and satisfaction.
It starts with self-care.
Self-care is not selfish.
Everything you experience.
Everything you do.
Everything about your life.
Is built on the foundation of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Taking care of yourself is taking care of everything and everybody around you.
You don’t need a complete overhaul.
Or to let go of all of your commitments.
Or join a monastery or convent.
You need only to get started.
To take one small step.
To do one thing, for you and only you.
You are a gift to the world.
Take care of that gift.
You are worthy.
You’ve got this.