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We Owe Ourselves Love & Growth
By M. Alouette
Self-care is as much about loving ourselves as it is improving ourselves. It is not a mindless love. It is a focused love. We should relax, reflect, heal our wounds, aim for growth, and radiate in the change. We deserve all of this because we are enough. We do not deserve self-hatred and we should aspire to more than pure decadence. We should strive for pleasure that nourishes us. All of this is a choice, but self-care is also a privilege. Our race, ethnicity, religion, health, social class, economic status, and other identities and circumstances have a large say in how society allows us to experience self-care. The less privilege we have, the less time, money, and opportunity we have for self-care. The more privilege we have, the less judgment we will face for "indulging" in these "selfish" and "vapid" acts. No two people experience self-care in exactly the same way.
Regardless of how much or how little privilege we have, we should ask ourselves honest questions about self-care and our rituals. Here are some to inspire a heart-to-heart with ourselves:
• What is my personal definition of self-care?
• What is my current relationship with self-care?
• Are my feelings toward self-care mostly positive or negative?
• Do I want to change my current perceptions of self-care?
• How and why do I want to change my current perceptions of self-care?
• Do I encounter judgment about my self-care time and rituals?
• What are my favorite self-care rituals?
• Are there certain types of self-care I avoid? Why?
• What are new types of self-care I would like to try?
• How much time do I take for self-care every day? Week? Month?
• How much money do I spend on self-care every day? Week? Month?
• Do I feel guilty about the time and/or money I spend on self-care?
• Why do I feel guilty about the time and/or money I spend on self-care?
• Do I want to change the amount of time and/or money I spend on self-care?
• Why do I want to change the amount of time and/or money I spend on self-care?
These questions are meant to lay the foundation for self-examination, which is another form of self-care. Self-care is a journey and all of us deserve an equal shot at walking the road.
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