Updated: Feb 24, 2020
There is almost no way for us to consider everyone and everything all at once. The only actions we can take with confidence are the ones we take for ourselves therefore, I find the way we nurture and pay attention to ourselves as very important and essential to our self-care, self-love and self-compassion which leads to a more effective service we provide for others.
However, through my own personal experience I have come to conclusion that when it comes to our physical, mental and emotional health we better consider the following:
When it comes to self-care prioritizing prevention over cure
When it comes to self-love prioritizing needs over desires
When it comes to self-compassion prioritizing empathy over sympathy
Now lets talk about the 3 actions we must take:
Action# 1: Forgive the Past:
Most of us are stuck in our past whether because of accumulated past traumatic experiences or because we are not enjoying the present moments and instead spending our time dwelling in the good memories of the past. In both cases we are losing the opportunity of being present. When we are not present we are most likely lacking focus and concentration in our day-to-day activities. There is also a high chance of experiencing anxiety as a result of lacking focus and losing present moments and developing fear and worries in regards to our future. Clearing the mind is crucial for the optimum mental health which is inter-related to our physical and emotional health. To clear the mind we need to practice compassion and forgive ourselves, forgive the past and all the people and all the situations we have been hurt from. Some people believe if they would forgive another person they will be considered a looser and the other person is a winner when in reality the "winning & losing" is a kind of game our ego likes to play with the mind. It is important to realize that we forgive simply because it is a fundamental self-care strategy and we deserve peace and enjoying the life moving forward. To forgive others we need to develop enough compassion to forgive ourselves first. This is specially difficult for those who feel more responsible and regret making a mistake in the past however, it is important to admit we are also a human being who is capable of making mistakes and looking at the whole situation as a learning experience and identifying insecurities that require improvement.
One of the strategies I suggest for fastest forgiveness is writing an apology letter to ourselves on behalf of the parties who we have been hurt from. This may seem silly but it works! Give it a try and write as many times as needed to stop thinking about that past. We are finally healed if we can recall the past memories as an observer and without attaching any emotions to it.
Action #2: Find Love and Joy
Create a comforting space and environment for ourselves no matter how small. Take some time to think about what are our passions , what makes us happy that we can have or do it right now. We should be able to Identify those activities and include them in our schedule. It is important to note that we have only 24 hours a day , which might give us about 8 hours of productive work, so both our time and energy can be very limited and we must use it as wisely as possible. Taking some time and being present , managing our time and energy in a way that is fulfilling must be a priority. Do not wait for somebody else to one day come and surprise you with the kind of activities you have been wishing to experience, create the experience for yourself. For example, buy yourself flowers or prepare a nice bubble bath with roses, essential oils and your favourite drink for yourself. Save enough money and resources to take care of your health and purchasing items that serve you in positive ways. Get involved with a hobby that puts you into a hands on experience. We must give ourselves love and attention. After all, how would other people know what we like if we do not take the time to explore and know it for ourselves.
If we learn how to use our time, energy and financial resources wisely we will also not be dealing with too much anxiety and worries of the future because we will be better prepared for everything we need to do. However, being patient with ourselves throughout the process is necessary and understanding that change takes time while we go through many transformations every moment.
Action #3: Practice Empathy
Once we learn how to practice empathy and compassion towards ourselves practicing compassion towards others becomes natural. We might constantly scan everyone around us and try to find out if everyone is doing well and if not what can we help with to make them feel better. Practicing empathy has several benefits some of which are:
Boosting the confidence
When helping others we are in the position of strength, care and service. It shows above average willingness to use our natural skills and we automatically start presenting ourselves as ambassadors of Peace.
Creating a better environment
Once one person starts tracking the well-being of others that environment starts to become more peaceful. The person who is actively involved in maintaining this peace benefits from it the most.
Empathy is infectious
Practicing empathy encourages everyone whether effected by it directly or not to practice being empathic and compassionate towards other humans, animals and our planet more often.
It is best if we learn to practice empathy before we have to sympathies, meaning, we should not wait to share a pain in order to have an understanding for each other. Showing even a small amount of compassion, patience, communication and respect is a way to practice empathy.
Of course It is important that we identify and realize our own values and beliefs and at the same time not selling ourselves too short. In the case of an empath as most creative people are, we are more than willing and desiring to help others but it is best if we learn when to offer our help voluntarily and when to wait to be asked for our help because otherwise it can lead to many misunderstandings and sometimes unfortunately demonstration of acute innocence. Sometimes we can be misunderstood when are are too honest, kind, cool, calm and pure for the surroundings, our community and environment we are involved in. However no matter what, fragrance of compassion , roots of our empathy will grow way further than we might think.
At last, do not give because you expect to receive, give because you take leadership in this!