6-4-23 – 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.

An awareness of when we are demeaning ourselves, or feeling anxious, is best addressed by
accepting, that is what we are feeling. When we simply accept the feeling or thought, we place
the thought or feeling in our realm of acceptance and it opens our intelligence and kindness
towards ourselves. It takes it out of the demon realm of judgement, embelishing, magnifing,
projection and fear. We can actually feel when we begin engaging fear and negative projection.

When you feel that, STOP and breathe. We begin caring for ourselves by accepting, and letting
our higher power, our intelligence and wisdom be the guide. Let that ber who you are.
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.

Meditate Shamatha for a few minutes, then bring the following phrases to your mind:
For a few minutes – 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 care for 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
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.
Heart Of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com