Healing into Self-Care

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There are many ways to view self-care, and each view is perfect at any given time, from the eyes of each unique viewer. In this blog, I want to briefly intersperse some of my own thoughts or views about self-care with various quotations or views of others, including some of my kabbalistic learnings.
To me, self-care means expressing love for the little self and the Soul Self in action. But before we can express love for ourselves in action, we must be able to FEEL that love. And the more we are able to feel, and then express our love for ourselves, the more we are able to feel and express our love for others. Love begins within, and as it expresses within, so it can express without.
And all the while, we struggle and experiment with finding the balance between the two – caring for self and Self, and caring for others.
Jesus said, “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.
Buddha said, “ You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.
Mother Teresa
 said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread”. And that applies of each and every one of us.

To me, the greatest impediments to self-care come from distorted beliefs, self-judgments and the feelings that this induces. It is so easy for us to find ourselves lacking, rationalize over care for others, or to judge ourselves. It is often much more difficult to view OURSELVES with eyes of love, self- worth, understanding and compassion.
It has been said, “ Love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly”. We are all imperfect people. Compassion, understanding and acceptance pave the way for turning fear, guilt, and judgments into that perfect vision of seeing ourselves, and then others, with eyes of love. This is our ongoing life journey, evolving day-by-day, year-by-year, and lifetime-to-lifetime. Learning about love is our life task, and it evolves with impeccable timing in it’s own right time.
I offer you a question to stir your thoughts and feelings. What does love in action look and feel like to you? To me, there may be many times when we need to defend ourselves against the inner and outer judgments, and fight from a position of what I call Divine Defense of Self – a form of self-care. We must be willing at these times, to become the love that is “ much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in it’s defense”. To fight with courage for what the Soul knows as it’s Truth, and to allow it to take precedence against conflicting thoughts or feelings coming from the inside or the outside, requires readiness and strength.
Another challenge is to deal with the resulting feelings created by the surrender to the oft neglected needs and Truth of the Soul. This is another integral part of the process. Often,the movement from victimhood to victory is experienced with reactive anxiety, guilt and confusion. This anxiety is created by the anxiety of change - of movement from a known, familiar state, to an unfamiliar state - a newly re-membered, often fragile, budding state. When this arises, and we are able to understand and accept this anxiety as a normal and frequent part of the process of change, we can bless it, and allow it to move into a state of joyous celebration, The movement out of the states of victimhood and self abdication - that of nega Hod, is not an easy one, nor is the movement out of the state of the false victory of blame. judgement and rationalization felt in Netzach. At the deepest levels, we yearn to move into the state of Soul surrendering - oneg Hod. And we yearn to experience the state of true victory of surrender to the Soul - oneg Netzach. This shift from nega to oneg requires a mastery of the movement from anxiety to gratitude should anxiety emerge. When we choose, from our love of Self and our understanding of the process of change, to surrender to the gratitude rather than anxiety, we win another victory in yet another battle for the Soul. Whenever we allow love to conquer fear, we are surrendering to the Divine , which is where our souls reside. And the celebration and gratitude at every step along the way begets more surrender - and so the cycle repeats. I have often found that when I forget either the gratitude and/or the celebration, that it takes much longer for the flow into a new way of being to become embodied.
To enable this process of movement into more self love with self-care, our ongoing task is to deeply search for, and love the inner truth of Self. And then we must defend that truth, even though it may at times cause disappointment in others. To enable this process of spiritual growth, we must create safe places within and with others, organically or through conscious choice. From those safe places, we can listen to and express the thoughts and feelings with which we struggle. Only then can compassion and understanding be evoked, and new answers and actions begin to formulate. Learning to know and befriend each aspect of this healing spiritual journey, is love in action.
I invite you to allow these words to come to rest within, and lead you where they will to find your own unique view of self-care to begin to emerge at this unique time. Where are you today in your journey of self-care? Can you surrender and feel the victory of where you are today?