I’ve struggled (especially recently during the quarantine) with balancing self-care and others-care. I feel guilty when I focus on me. No one makes me feel guilty, it’s just this inner wrestling with feeling self-centered and selfish when so much of the Bible talks about loving others and being selfless.
I want with my whole heart to live out these commands, but sometimes I just end up depleted. An empty broken vessel with nothing of value left to give.
But as I read on in the commandments I take notice of a key phrase that leads me to believe self-care might not be so selfish afterall. We are to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.
So how do we love ourselves? Who better to look to as our model than Jesus?
His entire life was about self-sacrifice and servanthood, however we also see Him:
1. Prioritizing alone time with the Father
2. Withdrawing from the crowds to pray
3. Inviting His disciples to rest
4. Sharing meals
5. Engaging in community
6. Taking a bath with a book
Wait. What? That wasn’t in your Bible? Ha! Mine either, but that is one of my favorite self-care practices. That and a walk. Jesus did walk a lot, didn’t He?
All kidding aside, I believe just as everything Jesus did on earth is essential to follow, these practices are equally as important.
Taking time to recharge refills us to have something of value to give again. Rather than empty, we are overflowing with His joy, peace, and love. I’m sure the others in my life would much prefer that than the grumpy, impatient, bitter me I’d be offering otherwise.
How about you? How can you care for yourself today? I think you’ll find that when you do care for you, you’ll be better equipped to care for others too.