7-1-18 Caring for yourself

Caring for yourself

We need to begin with a foundation of simply caring for ourselves. As simple as this sounds, it may be more difficult than it seems. Not caring for ourselves may go back to our childhood, or how we felt unique and different growing up, or how we compare ourselves to social standards and to others, and we always seem to come out deficient.

It may be that we need outside help in addressing some difficulties, and we need to find the right person or program to help us.

However, we can do a tremendous amount of good for ourselves by simply working on caring for ourselves. You have friends and family that you like and support. These people are not      perfect, and at times are difficult. You still support and care for them. Aspire, and learn to act, the same way towards yourself.

In my addiction I had no respect for anyone else, nor for myself. I was trying to destroy myself because I was unhappy and did not know what to do. I have been learning slowly that I can never hide from myself, but that I must see myself clearly, with no regrets, and I can then move      forward. I will be able to see myself more clearly, and will not be afraid of myself or others. What a blessing to begin to step into my fears, accept them, move beyond them, and not have them control me. Fear is the natural reaction to coming closer to the truth.

Gentleness allows us to have more skill and more options in how we can overcome negative habits and ingrain positive ones. Gentleness allows us to utilize all the aspects of what is happening in the environment … the distinction between being wise and being foolish is not so much who you are, but how you utilize what you have. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Do not accept criticism from yourself. As the Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

You are not deficient in any manner – you are human. There will be times when you are upset, unsure and hurt. You will be able to work WITH these emotions in a better way and have a better outcome, when you care for yourselves and others, and then do what you need to. To have an awareness that this is a situation, an emotion, I am experiencing. You feel what is occuring, and accept it. You also use your tools, your training, to step into any fears or manipulations honestly and see what your motives are, and how you can be true to your best and real self. With kindness, not self-denegration, blame or a sense of unworthiness. Let those go!!! Believe in yourself. We begin to trust our instincts and act on them. We step into the world with a sense of awe and      appreciation.

When we come from a place of  accepting ourselves just as we are, we are able to be respectful of others without being unduly swayed by them. We do not cater to others for acceptance because we have accepted ourselves, and that is what we have always needed. We are no longer VICTIMS, we no longer need to prove or force anything. We feel a responsibility to act in a manner that enriches and celebrates the world. We feel healthy and propagate healthiness.

Today Is the only day. Right here and right now.   Through practicing meditation, I slowed down and yet I was more productive. This is probably because I wasn’t doing things with as much of a “monkey mind” as before. I was noticeably happier. Any time I met a challenge during my day I was less effected by it. I felt like I had developed an openness, an accepting space around my mind and could handle anything.

Don’t demean anyone, including yourself for one day. If you can’t, – try it for 1 hour.     Know when you are trying to manipulate someone or someone is manipulating you and STOP it.
Have something go wrong and be OK with it. Have a sense of humor about it.

Make new decisions, be with healthy people, get exercise, read, have hobbies. Make the effort to be healthy and engaged. Say no when you should, say yes when you can. 

Have a balance between the spiritual and the worldly, they are not so different.

Recognizing your negative thought patterns is a first good step, but if you don’t take the action and responsibility to change those patterns, they become a limiting and self-fulfilling prophesy of you, disrespecting yourself. 

Just caring for ourselves may seem small, but great things arise — like your true self — out of small things that are honored and cared for — like your difficulties . 

Meditate Shamatha for a few minutes, then bring up in your mind the phrases –

“I am a good, healthy person.”

We turn toward our self criticism, not trying to get rid of it or fix it. We sit with non-judgmental curiosity, like watching a movie, and ask, Where did this story come from? Is it really true?

“ I am basically good!”

“I accept myself the way I am at this moment, without exception.”

We recognize our less than compassionate thoughts about ourselves or others, and let them pass through. We do not hold on to them.We feel our mind become small when we attach to and promote our inner critic. We let any criticism pass through, and we feel our minds relax and expand.

We are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves. Do not accept a harsh self-critical voice. Bring kindness towards yourself.

I choose to care for myself right now. During the day when you feel tight or anxious breathe deeply and say, I Choose To Care For Myself, Right Now. Let THAT be who you are.  Feel the loving kindness for yourself you have always searched for, coming from your own heart.

Always make an effort to be kind. Not manipulative of others or yourself – Kind. 

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com