Posted by: Edward | April 23, 2021

Cultivating Self-Caring

We do a lot of lip service to self care but it really matters that you actually care about yourself. It’s not just the actions of taking care of yourself but also cultivating the feeling, that matters. We need to know that someone cares about us and will take care of our needs.

As children, if our parents made us feel like that, we were confident to explore and take risks. As adults, the only person around to give us this feeling consistently, is ourselves. If other people give us this feeling, the more’s the better, but we don’t need to wait for others and let our feelings of well-being depend on the whims or availability of others.

This sort of self-caring is a practice. It involves listening to your feelings and your body, figuring out what they are telling you that you need, and doing what you can to give yourself that because you care about yourself and want to see yourself do well and feel good.

This may feel unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or fake, at first. And that’s okay, because often our feelings lag behind how we behave. Maybe you have some ideas that you don’t deserve care, kindness, and to have your needs met. Maybe you’ve believed that for a long time, possibly you came to that conclusion because of how others treated you. If that’s the case, talking with a caring counsellor might help.

But in the meantime, all I’m asking you to do is tell yourself, maybe I deserve care, kindness, and to have my needs met… and then to act as if you do.

In the long run, my goal is that you will begin to trust that you care about and will take care of yourself. Because that will probably make you feel safer and more confident to explore and take necessary risks.

But I understand if you do not, at first, because you probably haven’t been acting like it for very long or very consistently. And that’s okay, we don’t have to do this perfectly. We only have to do this good enough. Even parents who did this for their children well, didn’t do this all the time.

What matters is our choice, to do this as well and as often as we can.

It takes time to build new neural connections and to build new habits and new ways of being. And with practice we improve. With time, it will feel familiar, comfortable and real.

And, maybe, you deserve it.


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