Health, Purpose, Relationships

Self Care: Going Beyond The Exterior To Meet Our Deepest Needs

What do you think of when you hear the words “Self Care?” Sleeping in, getting a massage, or spending a day at the mall? None of these are terrible ideas. But what does it do for you in the long run? What interior help is it doing for you? All of these things bring a temporary pleasure but no lasting transformation. A recent podcast that I was listening to on Self Care by Glennon Doyle said that these kinds of things are “solutions that are some kind of a break from your life.” She goes on to define real Self Care as “making a life you don’t have to escape from.”

Self Care
Model: Me Photographer: Veida Paola

As I began really digging into this subject. I had to look deep within myself. For me, I know I’ve missed the meaning of Self Care. And based off of Glennon Doyle’s definition of Self Care I know my life needs some changes. I would love for you to come on this journey with me to dig into what true Self Care looks like and get some solid direction.

What we often see today is people who cope with the stresses of life by changing the exterior. Glennon Doyle describes the exterior meeting of needs as “what meets the needs of others, not ourselves.” Meeting our greatest needs in order to get the care that we need, goes way beyond the surface. This goes deep within the inner self. It goes to the root of who we are and what we need.

We live in a world that likes to numb and not talk about real pain and suffering.

Don’t believe me? All you have to do is observe the behaviors of others around you- friends, family, co-workers. And if you still don’t believe me, enter into the places where people are battling diseases or dealing with abuse. We might see sadness and physical hurt but we don’t see the inner turmoil. Nor do we see the thoughts and confusion in people. We can only really see behavior, which doesn’t always makes sense to us.

Trauma does a number on us. Yet some people wont even acknowledge that they have trauma. They deceive themselves in believing that they are fine. And when we experience trauma it can enable us to forget those memories, in order to cope.

There are people who know trauma, have embraced trauma, and worked through trauma. They have spent their time diving into understanding and researching trauma. As a result, they know very well- what it is and how it can affect people.

We’re not all fine- every second of the day, every day. Even if we have dealt with our trauma, we still come across hard things. Once we understand when we are not fine- we can take action. We can come up with a plan to dive deep into the pain and work through it. This isn’t for the weak it’s for the brave.

The results? Well they are transformative. They have the ability to inspire the biggest cynic.

#1 To Help Us Go Beyond The Exterior:

Look At The Issues You’re Experiencing

What things are affecting your quality of life? This is the part, where we get real with the issues that are really there. What inner battles hinder you and those around you? Just like how you would strip apart a dressor to fix and refinish it. So goes your life. We need to look at the issues that we are experiencing so that we can begin to stip those things. It’s not an easy process but it will change your life. In a recent blog post I was reading about repairing the most damaged furniture. What I thought was a lost cause, someone else saw as an opportunity to take something completely damaged and turn it into something beautiful. If we can do that to furniture, we can surely spend the time and energy to do this with people.

#2 To Help Us Go Beyond The Exterior:

Fix What Is Broken or Damaged

When we strip apart a dresser, the first step is to repair those parts that are broken. We stop abandoning ourselves by doing things that create further damage and do nothing for us. Then we connect with who we are and what makes us whole. This can require some special tools and ingredients.

A big way that we can take a step forward in our inner Self Care is to start by listening to the healthy people closest to us, to get perspective and understanding. It’s very possible that we have blind spots and could use a few different perspectives from trusted friends or family. Sometimes others can see what we can’t see.

Reach out to people who are knowledgeable on the subjects of your needed healings. Click To Tweet

Look to God for answers on how to heal. The Holy Spirit is our helper and our guide. He will guide you in ways that people can’t. He can give you answers that go beyond human help. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” This can really take the pressure off of us. We don’t have to come up with an answer, God already has an answer for us. All that we need to do is listen and obey.

Sweetwater Creek in Georgia
Taking Steps Forward on my first Solo Trip this past July to Georgia

#3 To Help Us Go Beyond The Exterior:

Be Patient and Keep Making Steps Forward

You’d be surprised at how many people give up, in this process. We try something and because we don’t get results in a quick enough time, we give up. This hinders our growing process.

In Galatians 6:9-10 it tells us “Not to get tiered of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone- especially to those in the family of faith.” Paul lays out the principle of sowing and reaping. What we sow, is what we will reap. Timing is an important factor. Just like a Farmer that waits for a certain season to plant, so are we to plant and wait in the right season. We need to be at a time in our life where we are ready and willing to receive. Some of it might be hard to hear but it will be the truth that you need to hear, to set you free.

#4 To Help Us Go Beyond The Exterior:

Be Strategic In Your Plans

Once you know your issues, have the correct tools and understand what this process will require of you, you need to take action. Start the plan. Understand that you may need to be flexible and do some tweaking at times.

Allow others to hold you accountable and check in with those who are supporting you in this journey. Consistently be open and authentic with the people in your life. This will help you become a better you and keep you on the course. It will help to grow those important connections. Vulnerability allows the right people to be there in your journey and the ones who aren’t meant to be there, to leave. As you see progress being made, keep sticking to the plan. Don’t think, that just because you’re doing good, you can just give up your plan. If something is working, then keep it going. Keep up those good habits and watch what happens.

Be Blessed, Dani

For More Inspiration and Direction Check My Other Related Posts:

Why It’s Important For Our Health And Safety To Say No In Order For Us To Say Yes

5 Habits That Drain Your Energy and How To Take Back That Energy

How We Set Out To Win The Prize And Not Lose Our Soul

The Power You Have Over Your Thoughts And Behaviors

2 thoughts on “Self Care: Going Beyond The Exterior To Meet Our Deepest Needs

  1. Sure getting a massage and going to the spa is great for self-care. Who wouldn’t like to go on a monthly or weekly basis. But your right, there is a lot more to self-care than things like this. I think it is also important to have a counselor (could be a friend) that you can talk to about everything or several that you can talk to about specific things. I have several friends that have various lifestyles so I can’t talk to some of them about certain things because they just don’t understand. This is fine, I just know there are certain people in my life I talk about certain things with. Self-care is taking care of our mind and body.

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