Monday, April 23, 2012

Caring Enough to Take Care

Bowl of Chocolate Ice Cream!
Bowl of Chocolate Ice Cream! (Photo credit: StephenMitchell)
My morning meditation book talked about self-care today.  Hah!  How timely seeing how I spent the entire weekend in a bath of self-loathing and personal disappointment.  An internal message loop ran, "Stop eating junk.  Go to the gym, you're a slug."  A string of other negative assessments ran rampant. I would listen to the voice inside for a little while and then go to the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream.

On  days like that, where I just can't seem to muster enough energy to tackle my "to do" list or prepare any food that requires more creativity than the flip of my wrist as I open a prepared package, I start to think seriously about our primal nature.  Am I more than just a clump of cells interacting with the lunar cycles? I don't know.

Stuart Smalley
Stuart Smalley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In those moments it feels like I have very little control over myself, my surroundings, or my larger world.  I lose sight of my personal power.  A ton of things can be going wrong, I can be in a general malaise, or worse case scenario, the zombie apocalypse could finally arrive and I will still have the power to care for myself.  It may not be all the things that I need at the moment but I can do some thing.  Getting out of my head counts as a "thing".  Talking to a friend or doing something that I enjoy counts as a "thing".  Eating a bowl of ice cream can be a "thing", as long as you don't beat yourself up about it afterwards.  We all know the bottom line is that we have to care enough to take care of ourselves.  We have to care less about what we "should" be doing/feeling/accomplishing and care more about ourselves.  I know this is probably sounding more and more like a Stuart Smalley seminar ("I'm good enough.  I'm smart enough.  And gosh darn it, people like me!").  Well gosh darn it, people do like me and yet I still need the reminder to take care and be nice to myself.  It's as important as all the other things on my "to do" list.
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