I used to think self care was chocolate strawberries.
Makes sense though if you think about it. Self care & self love sound like you are supposed to spoil yourself silly at all cost.
Chocolate cake, bubble baths, soaking up that beach sun, all sound absolutely magical don’t they?
But although this sounds so good the more years that pass the more I realize that self care and even self love really have nothing to do with this.
Although it’s good to spoil yourself from time to time and fill up that tub with essential oils the true test of self love comes into play in everyday life.
Can you love yourself enough to not destroy yourself with unhealthy habits when you’re struggling?
My late twenties have been very different than my early twenties in this respect. I used to think self care was reading a good book curled up in a comfy blanket, delicious treats, and indulging in what made me feel good.
I lived for that.
But after all those years of getting it wrong I look back in my late twenties understanding that true self care is rooted in responsibility not indulgence.
So what does this kind of self care look like?
It’s loving yourself enough to drink water throughout the day although you’d rather have that coke or delicious coffee.
It’s eating healthy despite what kind of day you’ve just had because you realize that scarfing down junk food will only hurt you and make you feel worse at the end of the day.
It’s going to bed early because you want to protect your health although partying till the wee hours of the night sounds inviting.
It’s cleaning your room and your house when your heart is broken even though you would much rather be binge watching Netflix.
It’s putting a load of laundry to wash every so often instead of letting it build up into Mount Everest and overwhelm you emotionally.
It’s working on not allowing yourself to give into eating disorders or reach out for help if you do have one.
It’s leaving behind friendships or even relationships that do not grow you.
It’s walking away from a job opportunity with more pay that doesn’t benefit you or your family in the long run.
It’s choosing to not self harm when things aren’t going your way or life isn’t panning out the way you thought it would.
It’s exercising daily even when you’re depressed so that you can have a fighting chance.
Self care is learning to love yourself so much that you choose responsibility over self destruction.
When no one is around will you put in the effort to care for yourself?
Honestly it’s a really hard task. As a child everyone watches out for you but as an adult you are left to care for yourself.
I used to watch my mom consistently cook, clean,and wash laundry even on her not so good days and wonder why she wouldn’t just relax.
As a young child I came to the conclusion that it was because she loved it. It was what fueled her. But now looking back as an adult I realize it was because of love.
The love she had for her family but ultimately the love and respect she had for herself and for God.
She was created to be a temple and she would not allow life with all its stresses to get in the way of her responsibility.
I’m so grateful to have had such an amazing example of what it is to be a woman of love.
I hope to one day be able to master a life of love in my everyday life over a life of pleasure.
To be the kind of woman where responsibility comes before my selfish pleasures.
Where I value myself enough to guard my mental and physical health from self destruction.
I might not get it right all the time but as I head into my thirties I realize this is definitely an art I need to master… the art of true selfless love in the midst of ordinary life.
May you choose to love yourself today instead of self destructing because you are special and regardless what you’re anxiety or depression are telling you…
You. Are. Loved.