This Take-Time Tuesday, we are returning to the idea of self-compassion and practicing a little kindness towards ourselves through self-care. As the weeks of lockdown pass, it might be that you have settled into a routine that involves a lot of caring for others, and not a lot of caring for yourself. But we must remember, ‘we cannot pour from an empty glass’. To care for others to the best of our ability, we must care for ourselves too.
Self-care is about far more than a pampering session, eating a chocolate bar, or buying yourself something new, it is rooted in the emotional and physical.
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” – Brian Andreas
Today, have a go at some physical self-soothing as you practice a loving-kindness meditation. Go somewhere quiet and either sit or lie in a comfortable position, put your hand to your heart, give yourself a gentle hug, or stroke your own hand, and listen to this.
Read the following poem. And reassure yourself that you deserve kindness just for being you.
Just For Me
What if a poem were just for me?
What if I were audience enough because I am,
Because this person here is alive, is flesh,
Is conscious, has feelings, counts?
What if this one person mattered not just for what
She can do in the world
But because she is part of the world
And has a soft and tender heart?
What if that heart mattered,
if kindness to this one mattered?
What if she were not distinct from all others,
But instead connected to others in her sense of being distinct, of being alone,
Of being uniquely isolated, the one piece removed from the picture—
All the while vulnerable under, deep under, the layers of sedimentary defense.
Oh let me hide
Let me be ultimately great,
Remove me, then I don’t have to… be…
But I am.
Through all the antics of distinctness from others, or not-really-there-ness, I remain
No matter what my disguise—
Genius, idiot, gloriousness, scum—
Underneath, it’s still just me, still here,
Still warm and breathing and human
With another chance simply to say hi, and recognize my tenderness
And be just a little bit kind to this one as well,
Because she counts, too.