Self-Care is Critical on the Journey to Healing and Wholeness
Our society has taught us that we should be “productive” pretty much every waking hour.
What kind of killer pressure does that put on us?! Talk about stress!
And add to that the guilt trips we take upon ourselves when we feel we’re not measuring up to our own or other people’s expectations. On top of that piles a load of shame from those who make sure we know we haven’t measured up.
Even on vacation we think we need to be doing something – something active that we can report to friends and family.
On the other hand, I suppose our society’s exception for the expectation of productivity is watching some kind of entertainment. However, when we “relax” in front of the TV or something on the internet, our minds are still being bombarded with information overload. Even watching fun movies can result in extensive emotional and psychological stimulation.
Don’t get me wrong. I like to keep up with what’s going on in our nation and on the world scene. I prefer, however, to get that information from respected “real news” sources on the internet rather than from “fake news” sources on TV – but that’s a whole other topic. I also love to sit down with family and watch a good movie – or even a series of episodes. It provides great family time, especially when you talk about it afterwards, discuss the fun aspects, as well as the principles it portrays, and the emotional and psychological stimulations it evokes.
Numbers of other kinds of entertainment are wholesome and recreational from time to time. However, they are still just that – entertainment. Dumping more mental and emotional overload into our already full and overflowing capacity to process and deal with it all.
Living our lives in constant movement from one thing to another and another and another . . .
My point is . . . our mind, psyche, emotions and body, our whole system, needs times when all outside input is turned off. When our body can truly relax and our mind can free-wheel. No, that’s not “productive” in the sense of getting something done that you can report on. But it is vital for health and wholeness.
It is productive in the sense of healing.
Because constant activity, along with continual mental and emotional stimulation doesn’t make space for inner reflection and outer relaxation that leads to healing and renewal, which are critical components of WHOLENESS – of SHALOM.
Taking the personal initiative to own your own healing process and to pursue an intentional path of self-care is not being selfish or self-centered. Rather, it is helping yourself to become more useful to others and to Messiah’s Kingdom mission. I know well from personal experience that you can’t be at your best, for yourself or anyone else, when you don’t feel good. Actually, self-care is an act of love – to God, to yourself, and to others.
Silence and solitude are necessary for healing – yes, even for extroverts!
You need time and space to draw aside from the hustle and bustle of life and give yourself some self-care. Time and space to love and enjoy your Creator, your Lord, your closest Friend. To allow yourself to receive His amazing love and joy and peace – SHALOM – into the depths of your whole being. Yeshua said, “just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Now abide in My love (John 15:9, emphasis added).
That’s healing that brings WHOLENESS!
When our life feels chaotic, confusing, confounding – that is not wholeness or shalom. God wants to bring us along, to enjoy safe pastures and quiet waters. That is His desire for His people. It is there that we can discover the path to true healing and wholeness.
It’s a journey that we have to choose to walk with Him.
We have to intentionally make space and carve out time for silence and solitude – with Him. Because “He himself is our shalom” (Eph. 2:14a, TLV). We won’t find the healing and wholeness we long for without following His lead, along the journey toward the unexplainable shalom that He has made available for His people “And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua” (Phil. 4:7, TLV).
It’s a journey that I had to learn how to walk when cancer brought me to the end of myself. My oncologist was a God-fearing Jew, an expert in his field. He told me that self-care was absolutely necessary for healing. That times of silence and solitude for reflection, journaling, prayer, meditation, and making music in my heart (I couldn’t sing at that point) were critical components of the healing process.
I realize that some illnesses are “incurable”. Though I’m certainly not a clinician, however, over the years of personal study and research, and more so in recent times, I’ve come to understand that many “incurables” can actually be considerably reversed, and sometimes even put into remission. There are several aspects to that extensive kind of healing, and one of the critical components is intentional self-care.
What kind of healing do you need these days? In your body? In your mind? In your outlook on life? In your relationships with family and friends, or with co-workers? Or in all of the above?
Family and friends may care as much as they know how to, but they may not be all that contributive to your healing. Because they simply don’t understand what’s going on with you, especially if your symptoms are nebulous and don’t show you to be visibly sick. And they may be scared about how your relationships will turn out.
The truth is, even though it may feel like you’re “wasting time” on self-care, no one cares about your wellbeing more than you and God do.
So go ahead – “waste” more time with God!
It’s during these quiet times with Him that also enable you to listen to your body. To tune in to your thought patterns. To pay attention to your emotions and psyche. What are they telling you about what and where your problems really are sourcing from? And what are their instructions to you about taking the next step forward toward healing and wholeness?
Let God shower His love on you. Allow His peace to embrace your soul and hold you close. Listen to His lead for dealing with the issues of life. Focus on following His formulas for the next step.
He wants to take you on your own journey of healing toward a new level of wellbeing.
Enjoy the journey to wholeness with Him!
Find this post helpful? I’d love for you to PIN IT!