How do you make self-love a priority? Or, do you?
When we balance taking care of family, working hard, and serving our communities, sometimes “we” take a back seat on our own priority list.
an important deadline is missed, or
lab work comes back indicating diabetes, or
a relationship is broken.
…a sudden reminder that self-care is what makes everything else work.
We’ve forgotten… “love your neighbor as yourself.”
I think the two most overlooked words are “as yourself.”
I remember a sermon several years ago. The pastor said that in our culture we don’t need any help with loving ourselves. That most people loved themselves too much.
I totally disagree.
Self-love is not self-absorption or self-indulgence. Or selfish.
These are born out of feeling inadequate and unloved. Out of not loving ourselves.
Genuine self-love is the result of knowing we are loved and cared for by Another, greater than ourselves. And this is what makes truly loving others possible.
But how does this happen in practice?
By having clear and specific goals – not just “what,” but “why,” – and scheduling in time for you before you schedule anything else. Because if you try to squeeze “you” in, let’s be honest…you won’t fit.
For me, a large part of my focus is my business, and this year I’m weaving self-care into how I operate.
Like setting aside more time to be strategic and develop ideas for delivering superior value to my clients. I think a lot about how to help them achieve the transformation they want. I’m planning ahead three months so I know what’s on the horizon and don’t get blindsided.
I set health goals for the first time in a few years: meditation six days a week, two plant-only days per week, eating less dairy (cheese!), and upping my fiber to average 40+ grams per day. And I’m still doing it! Because I have clear, compelling reasons to follow through.
I also have a goal to read 24 books, at least four of them fiction. I love business and mindset books, so purposefully choosing fiction must be a goal. (My favorite book so far this year? Quench!)
The one thing all of these goals have in common? They require time and attention that I was previously putting elsewhere. Like “getting things done.” And I admit… sometimes I feel guilty when I decline an invitation. Or feel like I should be “doing more” for everyone else.
But I believe we need to reclaim “as yourself” if we are to serve our families, friends, customers/bosses and communities.
We are limited, finite beings. I’m willing to work hard and serve hard. And take excellent care of myself in the process.