I had a conversation recently with a woman about self-care. She brought up the analogy of putting on your oxygen mask first on an airplane before helping others with their oxygen mask.
Self-care is an inherent part of balance. Without self-care, there’s no replenishing of the spirit. And without that, efforts to give back to the world are half-fueled. This is when we know we are out of balance. Things get hard.
Self-acceptance is a close cousin to self-care. Julia Cameron writes about it beautifully. (I’m still working through her book, The Sound of Paper. The local library is expecting a timely return later this week….) Julia’s wisdom:
"Self-appreciation is a discipline, and it is grounded in a sense of self-worth. We must believe that we are worthy of our own approval, and then we must give it to ourselves consciously and concretely….Self-acceptance makes it easier for us to be large. How then do we work, then, to accept ourselves? It begins with a determination to remember the beauty of our own personality….If I felt I were beautiful enough, good enough, and worthy enough, how would I act? Act that way."
An exercise from the book helps to ground this idea of acceptance in our everyday life. Number from 1-10. Complete the following phrases as rapidly as possible:
1. Something I really appreciate about myself is___________________
2. Something I really appreciate about myself is___________________
Well, you get the idea. As I scribbled my answers, I started feeling better and better. It’s a gift to yourself to do this work.