"What's between you and taking care of yourself with experiences that nourish you?"
"It just seems selfish," Amy responded, glancing at her husband. On his face, I saw what looked to be a passing shadow sorrowful surprise followed by deep love.
Directing her gaze back to his, I reminded her, "he loves YOU, not some idealized version of you."
Letting that sink in, she realized that expressing her wants and needs, even a little want like taking the time to go swimming in a nearby lake meant being vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is sometimes scary.
Nonetheless, she came to appreciate that NOT caring for herself is selfish. Essentially when we don't take care of ourselves, we rob those around us from our more unbounded self, liberated from the gunk of daily living. Present and available.
If you ask your clients what keeps them from engaging in self care, what do you suppose they would say? If you drilled down with a few more questions, you will likely find ideal self images they are trying to protect.
The integration of these ideal self images are far reaching. Most apparent is how such work helps a client become free from the original problem that is causing them distress. With addition practice, our support in this work teaches our to use their emotional pain, life challenges and goals to cultivate an increasingly spacious awareness of their real self in the present moment.
Aside from that lofty goal, for most of us we aim to live a peaceful life of laughter and love with those we care about. Strategic self care, helps us and our clients do just that.
From your point of view, is it selfish or self responsible to engage in self care?
Enjoying a rare cool breeze from a recent storm, Melanie
P.S. If you find this interesting, please share with your healing professional friends AND, join the conversation.