Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning to Take Care of Yourself First

Looking around at the world right now, I am seeing a lot of natural disasters going on. The typhoon and flooding in Myanmar, the continuing aftershocks from the large quake in China, heatwaves in India and Pakistan, earthquakes and volcanoes eruping all around the Pacific Ring of Fire, biological hazards, epidemics, wildfires, and still we continue to tear down the Rainforests, and more animal and plant species become extinct every day. What does all of this have to do with how we treat ourselves and our own healing?

How are you feeling right about now? Got a virus, cold, back pain, or other physical symptoms? Mother Earth does too, for these natural disasters she is suffering are the same as the physical symptoms we are suffering - they all result from not taking care of our Spiritual health. If we were living right with Mother Earth, living in tune with her as we should be, then she would not be suffering so much. If we were living right within ourselves, our symptoms would not be manifesting physically either. And that is what we need to talk about.

When we experience problems in our lives, we internalize them, taking them in and thinking about them, then deciding what to do about them, if anything. Unfortunately, when we choose to do nothing about them, we are the choosing to hold that negative energy within ourselves. We have arguments in our lives, we let our anger get the best of us, we grieve, or hold it in, we have sadness we don't express, we have happiness, joy, and love that we don't know how to express. All of these and more continue to build up within us, wanting to get out. If we hold them in for extended periods of time, they become more than just pent-up emotions, they begin affecting us physically.

Thinking we must be responsible for everything leads to carrying too much weight on our shoulders which manifests as neck and back pain. Worry about ourselves, others, our lives, manifests as stomach problems. Not expressing ourselves correctly leads to voice or throat problems. Withholding our love, especially from ourselves, leads to heart problems. I could go on, but I think you get the point. When you begin experiencing physical problems, look to see what you have done to bring this on yourself, by your actions, or inactions, your words or lack of words, and the habits you have developed, whether they result from conditioned responses from your childhood, or enforced behavior by disciplinarians in your life - either way, we have done it to ourselves by accepting that we need to conform to be the person our families, friends, or society thinks we need to be, and choosing to act in that manner.

Harsh words, I know. My point is, you have to be true to yourself, first and foremost. If holding your tongue is causing you to lose your voice, you are not taking care of yourself. I'm not saying you need to express anger towards others, for there are ways of speaking that let others know you respect yourself, and anger is not one of them. Look at situations you have been in and how you acted, whether you acted in your own best interests or not. Think them over, and be honest with yourself about the things you said compared to what you are really feeling, deep down inside. More than likely, we are angry because we are hurt. If this is the case, ask yourself why you are hurt, what is causing you to feel that way. When the truth comes to the surface, you will recognize it. And hopefully, next time it happens, you will be able to express your truth, in a way that is beneficial to your own growth. Then, your voice returns!

When we worry about others, or worry too much about ourselves and our own lives, we are causing ourselves physical problems, giving ourselves even more to worry about. What if, just for a moment, you stopped worrying - what would happen? The symptoms would cease if we could develop this practice. Unless we have already caused ourselves major problems and already need a doctors care for it. Don't let it go that far. Stop worrying before you do yourself permanent damage. What does worry get you? Nowhere. If we continue to think about negative things that can happen to us, we are allowing negative energy patterns to develop around our lives. This keeps out the positive energy. Instead, think positive thoughts. It will get you a lot further, and will keep you open to the possibilities around you.

We cannot love others until we learn to love ourselves. How many times have you heard that one? It's true. How much do you love yourself? Enough that you can do things for yourself, think for yourself, act in your own best interests, no matter what? Why not? Are you the most important person in your own life? Again, why not? When we choose to take care of others needs before tackling our own, we are suppressing our needs, or, better yet, distracting ourselves from thinking about our own needs. As if they are not as important as the needs of others. Why are we doing that? Maybe we don't want to think about ourselves and our own lives. Maybe we have been taught to believe that we are not important. This is not true, and it never has been. Each of us is here for a reason. You cannot fulfill your potential here, if you are busy thinking about others and their needs, and putting them before your own.

How do you feel about peace and quiet - do you enjoy it, or do you feel that you always need the noise of others around you? Think about how this could be preventing you from looking at your life and what you need for yourself, in order to grow and fulfill your potential here, in order to heal and be the best person you can be. If we can't spend time alone, we can't heal ourselves. If we can't heal ourselves, we can't heal others. If we are not whole, we can't heal Mother Earth. It's that simple.

Our internal issues develop into physical problems, if we do not delve into them, solve them, and learn and grow from them. Mother Earth is suffering from multiple natural disasters because we have gotten so far away from living in harmony with the Source of all Life. We are so busy thinking of others first, we have lost our connection with ourselves. We have gotten so far away from Mother Earth, and the lessons she can bring to our lives, that she, too, is suffering now. When we live in harmony within ourselves, we can then live in harmony with Mother Earth. Fix yourself, heal yourself, and take care of yourself first. All else will follow.....

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