Let’s cut to the chase. Self care itself is about our worth, our value, about loving ourselves. If we don’t see our worth, there will be resistance to taking care of ourselves.
I have described the process of self-care as T.A.P. While the process is simple, actually doing it will be quite hard without a base or foundation of self-love.
It’s bizarre how uncomfortable we can get when this subject comes up. We write poems and songs and speak publicly about our love for others…but, when it comes to self-love, there seems to be a conspiracy of silence. This silence extends into both loving ourselves and not loving ourselves.
If you have struggled with setting up and maintaining self care practices, a lack of self-love may be a root cause. It is worth moving through any discomfort this raises.
Are any of these reactions familiar?
- It doesn’t feel natural. If feels more like a ‘should’.
- You scoff when it is raised and get p#%*#d off that people don’t get just how busy you are and how impossible it is to make time for yourself.
- You nod in agreement when someone says how important it is BUT your inside voice is saying that you just don’t get why everybody is going on and on about it.
- Just entertaining the idea of self-care brings up guilt, fear or anxiety.
- You don’t have the foggiest idea how or where to start.
- It feels out and out selfish and self-indulgent.
- Taking care of others just feel easier.
- You feel weak and inadequate or needy with the idea of self care.
If you recognize yourself in any of the above scenarios, just own it. “Yup, that’s me.” This is the first step to moving through this barrier.
Bypass the Question ‘Why’
Asking the question “Why don’t I love myself enough to take better care of myself?” is a rabbit hole question. Even if you do figure it out, or create a story that answers the question, you are still left to take action to change it. Why not just go ahead and take action now?
Meditation or mindfulness practices are two effective ways to sever your identification with negative thoughts and self-talk.
Another way to tackle this problem is to apply the miracle question from a solution-focused perspective.
The Miracle Question
Imagine that you go to sleep tonight and a miracle occurs that completely solves this problem of lack of self-love. Because this happens while you are sleeping you have no way of knowing that there was an overnight miracle.
When you wake up, what will be the first sign that the miracle happened? What will be the first small clue to you that ‘whoa, something is different about me’? What is the next clue? And the next? And the next?
If you need further guidance, consider the following specific questions:
- What are you doing differently now that this problem has been completely solved?
- What are you no longer doing?
- What is different about how you think about yourself?
- What has changed about how you treat your body?
- How are you different with people in your life?
- What are people in your life noticing that is different about you?
A Future Full of Self-Love
These questions help us paint a picture of our future with a foundation of self-love and by extension, self care. These questions also nudge us to be concrete with our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
We come up with our own answers. We really do have that wisdom within ourselves.
Who knew you could create your own miracle?
This article is written by Jane Vock. Jane is a caregiver expert at Elizz, she has a Master’s degree in Sociology and in Social Work, and over 25 years of experience working with caregivers and their families.