I need to ask you an important question:
Do you truly believe your needs matter?
Why do I ask? Because consistent, generous self-care is nearly non-existent for so many people! And that is literally a risk to your health. You probably don’t realize that – it’s not part of your daily concerns, is it? And that has to do with not understanding what all of your basic needs really are.
We all know, in theory anyway, that “making sure our needs are met” is essential to staying healthy. Being healthy obviously includes being physically strong enough to do what we have to do. Eating properly, and getting enough sleep and exercise, are the basic building blocks of health that typically come to mind. I think I’m safe in stating that we would all acknowledge that it’s important to have those needs met (even if we’re not doing a great job of meeting them every day!).
There’s a lot more to self-care than that, however. We also need to stay mentally sharp enough to assess situations and think creatively. That allows us to see alternatives clearly and make decisions effectively. You can be the healthiest person on earth physically, but if you’re unable to function at your best mentally you won’t be able to manage all the daily demands that come up.
Most people understand that adequate diet, rest and exercise contribute to mental clarity. But we often overlook the importance of also believing we deserve it.
We think beliefs fall outside the realm of self-care, because they don’t appear to be a physiological need. It’s not clear to us that they, too, are part of keeping life and limb intact and staying alive!
Think about it: if you don’t really believe down deep that you deserve to lavish yourself with love, kindness, and forgiveness for your imperfections, how likely are you to do it? You won’t ! Instead, you’ll allow old messages about being “selfish” or some other negative judgment to redirect our activities to something or someone else who you think “deserves it more.” If this goes on long enough, you will neglect to refill your own reserves. And unless you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life who is consistently and generously caring for you, those reserves will get depleted and your health and well-being will suffer.
How do beliefs contribute to mental sharpness, and how does that directly affect our quality of life?
Beliefs have the power to allow certain behaviors, or completely disallow them. The result? Well, let’s just say If you treated other people the way I’m guessing you sometimes treat yourself, it would be much clearer to you how unreasonable, unfair and incredibly harsh the impact of your beliefs can be.
For example, you wouldn’t dream of saying something like, “Because my mom got a “C” in math when she was in grade school, I’m not going to hug her today – she doesn’t deserve it!” Right?!
That just sounds crazy, right? The two things – you loving your mom and her math grade maybe 70 years ago – clearly have nothing to do with each other! Yet that’s the equivalent of what many of us do to ourselves, every day.
Your beliefs aren’t allowing you to have the commitment to your own self-care that you would if you were thinking clearly about your own needs. And you aren’t even aware it’s happening! But you can change that. All it takes is putting a practice in place to:
- Get clear about your needs
- Identify the beliefs that are trying to talk you out of satisfying those needs, and…
- Remind yourself to honor them on a daily – if not hourly – basis
Today I invite you to let go of beliefs that get in the way of thinking clearly about your needs. Give yourself permission to love yourself unconditionally and generously, no matter what you’ve ever done – or think you’ve “failed” to do – in your life up till now.
Here are Some Declarations to Reinforce the Belief That You Deserve:
- My needs are important – ALL of them!
- I keep of list of my needs uppermost in my mind, so I make sure to fulfill them
- When deciding what to do with my day, I put my own needs in my calendar FIRST, to make certain that I don’t neglect them
- When I take care of my own needs, I look at myself with admiration and respect
- I commit to being loving, caring and generous to someone who really deserves it – ME!
If it helps in the beginning, imagine that you are doing that thing, or providing that emotional support, for some other person in your life who is very important to you, and who you feel an unequivocal desire to care for.
It may take some practice to ignore the thoughts, feelings and even body sensations that cause discomfort as you declare yourself as deserving of all this love and care.
Just notice the words that come to your mind that want to accuse you for being “selfish, wrong, mean, inconsiderate…” etc. Remember to STOP! BREATHE! FOCUS! and allow yourself to be aware of your judgments and the feelings they cause to come up. Allow yourself to let them come up, and then choose to let them go as no longer serving you. They are from your past, the lessons that you learned from others trying to mold you into a caring person…but misguided because they forgot to include you as worthy of that care!
When you become aware of the old beliefs that aren’t serving you, you are then able to choose to change, and give yourself the gift of optimum health in every area of your life!
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If you find yourself struggling to keep your commitment to daily, generous self-care, it may be because you have a belief that you can’t see by yourself.
If you would like help identifying what that disempowering belief is, and coming up with some ways to make sure you take better care of yourself, enter your contact information below to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation with me.
Together we can uncover what is getting in your way, and get you started on the path of changing that belief, so you can start living more intentionally and self-lovingly!
It’s completely complimentary, and my gift to you. Fill in your information below, and I look forward to speaking with you soon!
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