We read so many posts that say we should be watching out for our friends and our family.
Watching out for their happiness, their health, their safety and well-being. And all of this is true.
This is how the world spreads love and compassion.
But, you also need to be watching out for you. Be aware of your own emotions. Be thoughtful to yourself on your shadow days. Be kind to your heart when it is grieving, heartbroken, lonely, or closed off. Be loving to YOU. Be always knowing that you don't have to believe every single thought that comes into your mind. Notice the thought. Examine it from each side. Only take it into your heart if it feels truthful, loving, and peaceful. The other thoughts? You can choose to let them float away on the wind. You can tell them they aren't welcome. Is that easy? No way. Sometimes it's the hardest thing you'll do in a day and no one, no one will notice your hard work but you.
Take care of you, dear friends.
It's not selfish. It's self-love.
How can you care for anyone else in your life if you aren't caring for yourself?
How can you notice if others you love are suffering if you aren't noticing and caring for your own suffering?
Self-love and self-care are not selfish. They aren't expensive trips to the local spa or vacations to white sand beaches.
What is self-care when you're struggling with your shadow in your mind, heart, and soul?
It's taking a hot bath.
It's taking a long walk alone in nature.
It's closing the curtains on a sunny day and taking a nap.
It's canceling plans if they are too overwhelming.
It's being kind to yourself with your anxiety rages.
It's eating healthy food.
It's getting yourself the help you need when you're deeply struggling.
It's unpacking your suitcase of emotions into a journal, or a phone call to a dear friend, or to a stranger on the internet who cares and has been there.
Other people aren't always going to notice when you're struggling internally. They won't always be examining you for the signs of depression, loneliness, or suicidal thoughts. Why? Because they are focused on their own. Because so many of us are struggling with our own shadow so it's truly hard and sometimes impossible to notice anyone else's. How do I know this? Because I have been depressed and not one person around me said, "Hey, I see your shadow. Are you ok? Would you like to talk? How can I help you to help yourself?"
Notice your own shadow. It's not your enemy. Every single bright light in the world creates a shadow. There are days where we curl up inside the shadow and feel nothing or everything all at once. And there are days that we see the light peeking through the curtains and joy enters our hearts.
Take care of yourself today. Love yourself extra. Notice your thoughts.
Will this fix everything? Will it heal the world of their shadow and stop people from leaving this earth? I don't know. Probably not, maybe so. Nothing is a given. But you know what? It's a start. It's a place to begin. Begin with self-care and self-love. It isn't selfish.
Always be on the lookout for your friends and family and if they seem ok or not. But please don't forget to watch out for yourself too.
Self-love and self-care? They are as simple as making sure you've eaten breakfast. Make sure you've showered and brushed your hair and put on clean clothing. Open the curtains a crack and see if the sun is shining. Turn off your phone. Cut out toxic friends. Turn down invites if it seems too draining to your already drained energy.
Make it your mission every single morning to take care of the one person on this earth that will be with you through it all.
Who is that person? That person is you.
Love always....your friend, Nik
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