Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking Care of Myself First

"If I take care of myself and my basic needs, I contribute to my own personal power and sense of self worth."

Like many things in life, there are many different approaches that achieve the same goal.  On the spiritual path, I have found that my instinctive approach to something is completely backwards.  I tend to look at the goal and then work backwards from that.  For example, I may be unhappy with a particular circumstance.  Conventional wisdom wants me to put all of my attention and energy on changing the circumstance.

I always have two choices.  I can try to change the circumstance or I can accept it for what it is.  I always have this choice, too: focus on the inner life or focus on the outer life.  Focusing on the inner life may mean that I accept the circumstance as part of the Cosmic plan.  If I focused on changing the circumstance, what do I feel?  I feel that I am out of alignment with Life.  I am working upstream.

This is not to say that I can never change my circumstance.  This is simply saying that I should first accept it and consider if there is anything within me that needs to change.  Perhaps I need a perspective shift that will allow me to view it in a new light.  I might see that the circumstance does not need to change at all.  Or, the circumstance changes of its own accord.  As I put out higher and higher vibrations, the vibrational field around me will eventually match.  In other words, as I become a more positive, accepting person, my circumstance will improve to be lighter and freer than it was before.  This may be because of my perspective change, the influence of my attitude and actions on others, or the causal effect of external, mysterious forces.  The point is that rather than take the seemingly correct action of attempting to change my external reality, it may be helpful to consider an inside-out approach.

Another example where an inside-out approach may be warranted is when I want to increase my own sense of personal power and self-worth.  One road may be for me to directly attempt to empower myself through perhaps trying to control others or manipulate my circumstance.  Or, I may try to inflate my self-worth through elevating myself in relation to others or accomplishing things that improve my external image.  Rather than attempt to increase these areas directly, it may be more helpful to look deeper at their origin.

Is other words, I need to look at what needs to change within me.  To change me, I take positive actions that invest time and energy into myself.  If I take care of myself and my basic needs, I contribute to my own personal power and sense of self worth.  This is because deficiencies in my personal power may be related to an undeveloped sense of self.  To cultivate a sense of self, I need to devote time and energy into fostering it.  By simply spending time on myself, I am increasing my self-worth through my actions.  I am investing my limited resource of time on me which builds my worth.  If I practice self-care, I am watering, nurturing and fertilizing both my physical body and soul.  This, in turn, is putting money into my "personal power bank."  I am building up a reserve of power that I can draw upon to mindfully wield when challenging situations arise.

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