5-17-20 Caring For Yourself

Caring For Yourself

We need to begin with a foundation of simply caring for ourselves. As simple as such a principle sounds, it can be quite difficult to practice. Not caring for ourselves may go back to our childhood. Growing up, we may have felt unique and different. We may have compared ourselves to social standards and to others, and decided we were deficient. Many of us carry such notions forward into adulthood without examining them and the harm they do.

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 ourselves a tremendous amount of good by simply working on self-caring. We all have friends and family that we like and support. These people aren’t perfect; at times, they’re even difficult. Yet we still uphold and care for them. Aspire, and learn to act, the same way towards yourself.

In my addiction, I had no respect for myself or anyone else. I was trying to destroy myself because I was unhappy, disconnected, and didn’t know what to do. I’ve slowly learned that I can never hide from myself; I must see myself clearly, with no regrets, in order to move forward. In this way, I will learn not to 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.” –SMR

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’re upset, unsure and hurt. You will be better able to work WITH these emotions (and thus have a better outcome), when you care for yourself and others, and then do what you need to. When times are challenging, try to maintain the awareness that you are experiencing a situation, an emotion. Do not equate it with who you are. You feel what is occurring, and accept it.

As any good sailor does, keep your hand on the tiller, your eyes on the horizon, and you can weather any storm. You do have that capacity. Guide yourself gently but firmly, in kindness. You will begin to trust your instincts and act on them. You will begin stepping 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 don’t 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. Honor it.

Through practicing meditation, you slow down and yet become more productive. This is probably because you aren’t doing things with as much of a “monkey mind” as before… Any time you meet a challenge during the day, you are less affected by it. You developed an openness, an accepting space in your mind, and can handle anything. Don’t demean or judge anyone, including yourself, for one day. If that seems impossible, try it for one hour. After missing the judgments and blaming and your ego has no solid ground to stand on, you become noticeably happier.

Know when you are trying to manipulate someone or being manipulated by someone 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.

Contemplation on caring for yourself…

Meditate Shamatha for a few minutes, then bring the following phrases to your mind:

For a few minuted – Breathe these words into your heart.
Meditate on the feeling of the words
I accept myself completely, the way I am at this moment, without exception.”

Do not accept a self-critical voice.

For a few minutes – Breathe these words into your heart.
Meditate on the feeling of the words.
I believe in myself and love myself, just as I am, right now.”

Sit Shamatha meditation, focused on the breath for a few minutes.
Let any sense of calmness and strength remain with you throughout the day.

During the day — if you begin to feel tight or anxious, breathe deeply and say, “I choose to care for myself, wholly and completely, right here, right now.”Or use similar words to return a sense of wholeness to yourself.
Let that be who you are. Feel the loving kindness, the calmness, you have always searched for coming from your own heart.

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