Look After Yourself

Good Morning! Sorry I can’t be with you and that we all can’t be together in these difficult times.

I think it’s important to look after ourselves, physically, mentally and of course spiritually. If we are looking after ourselves, do we sometimes feel that it is selfish? “I don’t want to be selfish!” “I want to be kind, isn’t kindness always better?!” we might ask ourselves. But is taking time to look after ourselves un-Christlike?

I get it. We want to be loving, kind and gracious toward others. And those are good things. What we often don’t realise is that love, kindness, and graciousness flow from a heart that has received those qualities first. John put it this way
“We love, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4 v19)

We need to remember that if we don’t love ourselves then how can we love others? An inability to give self care immediately makes it more difficult to care for others as YOUR tank is already empty.

There are pitfalls which we can fall into (funnily enough!) I’ve learnt this as I learn to be a therapist.
1. We can start to appease or over indulge others without helping them grow.
2. We can take on others’ problems as our own instead of listening and enabling them to deal with them.

When we are run down within ourselves then we may want to help others but we may take the easiest but least helpful route for them as we simply don’t have the means within ourselves to help.

So we need to look after ourselves too. God loves us, He wants to see us glorify and love him but he wants to see us WELL, loving ourselves and loving others more easily because of that. How can we know how to be kind to others if we aren’t kind to ourselves?

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I’m reminded of Jesus taking himself into the wilderness to pray; Jesus went out to a mountain to pray; Jesus sent the disciples away to pray before he was crucified.

He took himself away and gave himself the nourishment he needed from His Heavenly Father before he gave his very life in the ultimate act of love the world has ever seen.

We know that we look to Jesus and try to emulate him; look after yourself, pray and love others. We all need to think about these things as we take the bread and wine this morning.

Much love to you all,
Lewis, Kat and Reuben xxx

PS. Signs you might be needing some self care
1. You’re irritable and short with everyone around you
2. You feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
3. You want to be kind, but you can’t muster the energy.
4. You’re struggling with decisions and worried about letting others down.

What to do about it...
1. Plan a day off and get out of your house. (if current government rules and health allow!)
2. Take a walk with yourself. Turn off your phone and spend some time noticing your thoughts and feelings. Talk to God about it.
3. Ask a friend, counsellor, to just listen. It’s amazing what happens when our hardest thoughts and feelings are witnessed by a loving “other”. (And guess what? Those loving others are probably getting care for themselves, too.)

(Advice taken from Alison Cook PhD)
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