"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." - The Buddha
My husband brought to my attention a quick clip from a book he's reading - Buddhist Boot Camp - a quick worthwhile read for the times. The piece describes the scenario of how so often we primp our homes for our guests, and create ambiance for those around us, but so rarely treat ourselves to the same attention.
This, in its essence, is self care.
I've talked to many people recently who are - despite everything going on in the world - finding themselves enjoying this time (albeit with the good fortune to do so). Finding more time, more space, and a greater capacity to slow down and nurture our homes and our families. With much of the external falling away, it seems that there is more space to show ourselves and those closest to us more compassion. If we allow it.
In a culture that prizes the external in every way - from the clothes that we wear to the amount of 'productive' output we achieve, we find ourselves asking, "What really matters?"
How many parents have spent this much time with their kids? How many husbands and wives have sat down to this many dinners or breakfasts together? And if you're alone, and using the time well, how often have you had the opportunity to care for yourself this much? The time to read, or meditate, or even hear your own voice? This is the silver lining.
The struggle is so often created. Fighting against the world, ourselves, our spouses, in search of something more. More is a systemic disease of our culture, and it creates so much dis ease. Everything that is currently happening is a direct cause of this mentality. We have lost touch. With ourselves, with nature, and with those that we hold most dearly. What if more is what's right in front of you? Because for many of us, it is. We choose to ignore it for something more. What if we nurture the homes that we have? Our physical bodies, our families, and the walls that keep us safe. Show it all more care, more attention.
Plant the garden, see it flourish.
To treat ourselves, and the things that we have in our lives with dignity, is to show gratitude. Showing gratitude is the ultimate respect.
We fully recognize that there is a darker side of all this that is causing a lot of pain and loss, and that even having the time to write these words is a luxury.
We're only suggesting that for those of us that do have the opportunity to emerge from this experience, to try doing so as more mindful and more grateful.
To love ourselves is to love those around us - and right now the world could use a little more love.