The ‘ya-da ya-da’ rules of self-care are posted everywhere ad nauseum. But this is an expedition beyond the physical practices that save and serve us well. All energy lies within self, and it is the meta-struggle with those impulsive, instinctual, unbridled, frustrated, limited, exaggerated, insistent energies that dictate how we care for self.
We learn self-care, or not, at the feet of our parents. We do what they do, not what they tell us to do. This is why the ‘sins of the parents’ are passed down seven generations. These are sins of not loving, and honoring Self. Because we are steeped in the soup of their habits and thought patterns, it is nearly impossible to see how we do the same. We may do it in different forms, but the energy is the same. All too often, the results are the same. Learning what deeply nurtures us is rarely what our parents taught. This we must teach ourselves through practice, and endless decisions of this…not that.
Do daily choices of good food, sweet sleep, and loving touch help support and create our infinite potential, our authentic, inventive perceptions, our innate intuitive abilities? The answer is, “yes.” But what is more necessary is food for the soul, and manna for the spirit. I suspect another root necessity is being present for and to self. It is the practice of being present, of listening to our needs, and honing fine instinct that builds bridges across the moat of crocodiles.
The ‘meta’ of self-care asks we realign soul with ego, that we infuse spirit into body. This allows the heart to nurture our raw nature, those raw, un-safe feelings that cry, “run! Abandon Self.” When life overwhelms, when depression strikes, or we are mired in apathy, loving oneself seems unattainable. These times of bone deep weariness require that a practice be in place. If we wait until we are down; we are out. It is too late. There has never been a better time than now to step into a practice of profound love, of this, not that.