Every human being was uniquely created by God. He tells us in Scripture that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God also encourages us to treat our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Which leads to the next question…we know that a temple is taken care of and treated with respect; it is not neglected or mistreated, so why do we feel that it’s okay to ignore ourselves. Yet, even though we may agree with Scripture, it doesn’t make it automatically easy to take proper care of ourselves.
But maybe we need to start there. It’s at those times when I stumble and end up driving myself too hard once again, acting as if I have an indestructible body without any needs, that I need to remind myself that I’m not being selfish when I make the choice to take care of my physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. I am honoring God when I treat myself as someone who is a member of God’s kingdom–someone whose needs are normal and essential.
When we are looking at and working through our painful memories it takes courage and a lot of energy. It can be stressful and even though it is a journey that is necessary and is worthwhile, the process takes great effort.
It’s at these times especially that we need to be gentle with ourselves, be kind to ourselves.
I read once that abuse conditions us to being stressed as a chronic condition.
And as I’ve said in previous posts, we are well-trained to consider any self-care as “selfish”. Rather, we need to understand that nurturing ourselves is not selfish but is essential to healing and is foundational to modeling a healthier way for our children or others who may be impacted by us.
So, how do we go about it…how do we care for ourselves, how do we treat ourselves with love and respect?
I wish I had it all figured out, but I am still learning in this area.
Some things that work for me are:
• Exercising regularly to relieve stress and keep my emotions stable and positive.
• Journaling helps me to stay in touch with myself
• Watching what I say about myself, because often the things I say to myself or about myself I would never say to a friend.
• Asking the Holy Spirit to teach me how to take care of myself, learning to be a good steward of what He has given me.
• Asking myself what I would want my friends to do for themselves in a similar situation, and then doing that for myself.
• Giving myself permission to rest, and permission to play.
If you have ideas on how to be kind and nurturing with yourself I would love to hear them by either sharing with us here or emailing us.