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3 ways to care for yourself today

I am still learning how to be good to myself. Self care means paying attention to and lovingly caring for your physical, mental or emotional needs. I am fairly attentive to my body but less aware of mental or emotional needs. What does genuine soul care look or feel like?  Will I know when I am crossing the line into self indulgence or senseless feeding of my ego? Will tending to my own needs first result in losing concern for others?

My three year old loves herself. “I really just like…MYSELF!!” she told me the other day while hugging her small body. She delights in herself, is attuned to her own needs, shameless asks for what makes her feel better. Wonder and awe, creative passion and playful self absorption mark her days and when she’s not too bossy, I do feel inspired. The mirror is her friend and she cheers herself on with random shouts of “I am beautiful.” I don’t think I’d have many friends if I acted this way.

I am a grown up, a performance oriented person, a caretaker who has found meaning and purpose in meeting the needs of others while my own desires lie dormant. Someday, when I am less busy/needed/distracted/tired I will listen, attend to and love myself with greater intention. But I am worthy of loving myself well right now and must stop making excuses for self neglect.

How do you care for yourself more intentionally? Identify your weakest, most love resilient place and begin there. Here are three things I am trying out these days:

1. Silence your inner critic. Your inner critic is an obnoxious, know-it-all distraction, a shameless accuser. You don’t have to listen to the voice of defeat. Naturally your life story will hold plenty of opportunity for failure and rejection. Learn to become your ally, your own best advocate. Celebrate your success and embrace yourself in your failures. You are more than your performance, your productivity, your creative talents. Your worth and value are not up for grabs. Break your agreement with perfectionism. You get to decide what messages you listen to. But you won’t be able to hear the good if you don’t press mute on your inner critic.

2. Radically embrace all of you. Don’t wish for a different personality/appearance/life story. Be patient with your quirks, don’t keep track of your faults. You are more than the sum of your awkward moments. Allow your real self to be seen because it’s your best self and never cheat people of that. When pursuing your calling and passion feel like an invitation to fail, applaud your efforts for stepping into the direction of your dreams and keep going. You cannot mess up or fail in ways that make love extinct. Radically embracing all of you allows others to radically embrace themselves too. Compassion is contagious.

3. Open your heart and allow yourself to be loved. You can’t live well without love so you must not fear the vastness of your own need to be loved. Love is not a limited resource allocated to your neighbor first and gone by the time you need it. Love is an endless sea of mercy, an ocean of grace. Love is for you. Receive it. Cherish it. Gracefully accept the smallest love tokens, a genuine compliment, the smile of a stranger. Love is connection and unconditional acceptance. You don’t have to earn it. You are worthy of love right now, in the middle of your mess and random moods. It can be vulnerable and awkward to allow yourself to be loved. Receive love anyways. Love breaks down the wall around your heart if you let it. True love will transform the way you live and connect and care for others.

Love yourself well today. It will heal your heart and allow you to care for other in deeper ways.

Make friends with your mirror. I dare you to shout “I am so beautiful!”

I’ll still be your friend!

me

suzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Replies

  1. Tara

    I AM BEAUTIFUL! THERE! I SAID IT! 🙂 This is just good, rich, meaty stuff Astrid. And I am grateful to have read it and get to digest it over the next few days. <3

    1. Astrid Melton

      awesome- you did it. next: a little twirl and self hug. xoxox

  2. Astrid, I loved your #LiveFreeThursday prompt, and I like these 3 ways to care for myself, especially “allow yourself to be loved.” No matter our failings, it’s good to remember that God loves us and we’re worthy to receive love from others too!

  3. I am beautiful, and so are you my friend!!!! (Wow, saying that was harder than I thought it would be… on my end… saying you are beautiful is oh-so-easy!). Thank you for this!!! No, excuse me while I go try to better acquaint myself with my mirror 😉 #livefreeThursday

    1. Astrid Melton

      Love it- you are totally excused!

  4. I am beautiful! All beautiful! Song of Sol 4:7 beautiful! No flaw! Now I just need to embrace myself like your little girl and say I love you! I mean me! 🙂

    1. Astrid Melton

      Sweet. Do it! I love me still sounds a little foreign but getting used to new words is part of the process I think…

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