Do you associate self care with long hot baths and a massage? These are important components to taking care of ourselves - taking the time to be with ourselves and relax.
I think though, that self care can go deeper, much deeper. I believe self care encompasses compassion for self. Can you love yourself enough to accept yourself just as you are - acknowledging your pain, accepting your mistakes, and knowing you are worthy and enough? Can you be so in love with yourself that you can forgive yourself and others? Can you trust yourself and allow your inner wisdom to be your guide? That to me is true self care - stepping into the flow of who you are and what life is asking of you.
We all have areas that can use a little work be it physical, mental/emotional, and/or spiritual that are asking to be seen through the eyes of compassion. I know for myself that life offers challenges, asking me to take a look and see if I'm in alignment with my truth. If I'm being compassionate with myself, I can look at the discomfort and see it for what it is. Because I have free will though, I can choose if I want to keep the discomfort or transform it. If I'm out of integrity, I might choose to ignore it, but is that demonstrating compassion for myself? No. That's passing the buck and where life has asked me to step into compassion and take a look at myself, I've essentially said 'screw you.'
Life is our teacher and compassion for self is our greatest tool. Learning to be in our discomfort allows us the opportunity to do the inner work toward transformation. Being able to absolutely one hundred percent love ourselves enough to do what it takes to tackle those areas that are calling us is what I believe life is about. Choosing to take on the task is compassion for self.
It starts with awareness and the willingness to change. That can be hard and we always have a choice. However I believe compassion for self is our true nature, one that calls to us and as much as we might want to push it aside, it can't be ignored. Can you love yourself enough to step fully into life, into compassion for self? I know we all can. When you choose compassion for self, you're also choosing compassion for the world around you - compassion will flow from you and change your world.
In love and light,