Self-Care (The Ingredients to a Rich Life)

There is a complete difference between merely existing and really savoring this life. You can live a restricted life—completely confined behind the shells of routine and doing all things as a mere means to an end. Or you can have an open heart…a spirit gaping open before the Lord, longing to learn, to grow, and ultimately to enjoy.

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” —Westminster Catechism Project

Think of it. How many times has your mind wandered off in a day-dream about a spontaneous, carefree life, and yet it remained only a fantasy? If only you had possessed the same sponk and sense of wonder as you had when you were a kid! As intangible as it seems you can still give your soul the same healthy gratification a mother seeks to give her babe, if only you tend to your soul. You deserve to enjoy. You deserve to find carefree moments scattered sporadically between the moments of hustle and pressing demands. I want to talk to you about self-care. Self-care is a total benefit to your overall mental health and wellness.

Simple Ingredients:

  1. Release Guilt: The first step to take in this process is to release all guilt. If you first begin by seeing yourself as innocent as a child you won’t struggle to see yourself as deserving of simple enjoyment and self-care.
  2. Be Present: It’s so natural to be trapped in the cycle of thinking about problems and tasks that need to be done next. After all, we want to be responsible right? Yes, but we aren’t just living to get things done. We are living to breath…and find moments worth remembering forever. We are actively looking for beauty in the world around us and listening for the ways that God wants to speak to us. Slow down. Let that thing that needs to get done so badly sit on the shelf for now. You deserve to be present.
  3. Laugh: Giggling is so therapeutic to me. I love to feel the thunder of laughter erupting from deep down in my soul. The freedom, and release I feel is like having wings, every time I do it. It’s such a lightness and a medicine. It’s not immature. It’s not wrong. Laugh a little. Laugh a lot, and experience some healing from whatever it is that’s burdening your soul. You deserve to laugh!
  4. Rest: Find something that ministers deeply to you and do it regularly. For me that means having a daily cup of tea or coffee and spending time with Jesus. No, I do not only come to him for a lesson. I come to be enveloped by his presence and to feel his mercy. Nothing is more restful. I also like movies with deep and moving messages. These things give me so much rest! Not to mention a made bed. For you it might be drawing or taking a stroll through the park. Find frequent moments to rest. You will immediately feel ten times less miserable!
My current bed ❤️

5. Keep a Journal: Journals get a such a one-sided reputation. They are known for harboring the secrets and frustrations of the writer. I want you to Journal to remember and hold onto everything that means something to you! Journal to enhance your life. That doesn’t mean you can’t write just to vent from time to time, but I want you to Journal to feed and build your soul. This will make a difference.

My current Journal

6. Insert your own: Here is the last tip. I want you to insert your own. My personal and final tip to myself is to cry. Crying is something I do not make room for in my life, except for those rare God-moments when the floodgates of my soul are ajar and I’m released from whatever I was holding onto deep inside. What will you commit to doing for yourself more often?

Inspiration for this post:

I decided to write this post because I suffer from severe depression, and have taken it upon myself to water my heart a little more and find ways to intentionally enjoy life. I think the importance of enjoyment and soul nourishment are entirely underrated, and as Christians has skewed our concept of God’s character. He is the most joyful being there is , and in Him we do not have to be depressed.

Do not be deceived in thinking I have mastered this all. These were tips I wrote for myself as well as for you. We are doing this together.

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A Time to Heal

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am trying to reconcile the incongruence between my extroverted self, and my painfully introverted self. On the one hand I present, without an effort as amiable and warm. I am bubbling over with joy and a desire to be social with everyone around me all the time. My heart is bursting with vibes of love and genuine good will toward every creature around me.
On the other hand all the life is zapped right out of me due to the series of mental illnesses that I battle and I don’t so much as want to look at anyone.

I’m tired all the time. I’m weary. It is by the grace of God that I arrive to work each day by means of a 20 minute bus ride followed a 20 minute walk because the bus doesn’t take me quite all the way. I’m constantly thanking God throughout the day for the strength to endure the shift, and then comes the big debate about how I am going to get home. It is my responsibility to save money so I must trot my way back to the bus stop somehow. I must muster up the strength. More often than not I find that I cannot strain past my limits any further and I end up spending the money on an Uber home. I thank God I at least have the money, and I pray that next time I will find the strength just to walk instead.

My body constantly aches from head to toe. I’m not in any extreme pain, but I feel overcome by those aches you feel when you have the flu. Yeah those, except mine is derived from depression. My body is so overwhelmed by chronic depression that it manifests itself as physical pain, and I find myself swallowing ibuprofen and wondering how much my stomach can actually take before this is bad for me.

It really just feels like a long dream. I’m experiencing the world from a really deep place within myself, constantly in some profound state of rest and inner meditation to avoid sensory overload. It’s all in someway so damned beautiful and yet it needs to end because I wasn’t made for this. I cannot do this forever.

I’ve resolved it in my heart that I will not let this overcome me. I am too much of a fighter for that. Then again an echo of honesty reminds me that I do not know how long I can do this. I need rest. So much rest. So I find myself lulling in and out of sleep countless hours throughout the day. Moments that I am awake are spent staring into space…in a sort of peaceful daydream just resting my thoughts— sort of talking to God without speech.

Part of me thinks I was made this way. This is the beauty and the uniqueness of my life. These are the things that make my soul so unsearchably beautiful. How mysterious it is that God has formed me this way…

I cannot find fault in my maker. His ways are higher than my ways after all. That said. I do long for rest. I long for stillness, poetry and the sounds of running water. I long for cozy snuggles with throws piled on top of the bed. I long for hugs and fellowship. I long ultimately for more of my creator. More of Him.

Prayer: Father I know that in your wisdom you have formed me the way that it pleased you to form me. You know what hurts, where it hurts and how much. Give me this season father to rest, to heal, and to desire more of you!

With Grace,

Saturday Shenanigans

Today is the kind of day where I roll myself up in blanket like a burrito and think of interesting ways to soothe my soul. This revive essential oil put inside vegetarian capsules made me feel cleansed and relaxed. I love alternative medicine from tea to herbs and essential oils and this really impressed me. I’m looking forward to exploring more essential oils by Revive.

Healing Isn’t Linear

It’s been a while since I last checked into this safe space. Life has been tossing me to and fro between high hopes and utter hopelessness. I’ve seen beauty…even miracles that were unfortunately followed by shattered dreams and coming face to face with the dull reality that I have a mental illness and by legal definition a disability of sorts. Sobriety tells me that perhaps the rest of my life is going to be a bit unorthodox—spent finding unique ways to adapt in a world that is meant for the sane, the strong—the “fittest” so to speak.

What I have come to terms with in my pessimism is that this world is spinning on it’s axis and is held in place by forces of vanity and self-reliance. You’re not human enough if you can’t do it all on your own and yet I may never be able to. How has society defined strength? At my age is that just holding together a full-time professional job in corporate America, and showcasing my degree and intelligence to the world? If by such shallow standards society has measured my dignity, it is important to note that I had already achieved that, and yet I was crumbling under the weight of it all. Is there any room for the lame in this “dog-eat-dog” western society?

This question brings to mind the lepers of society in Jesus’ day. It was taboo to even go near them and there was a complete lack of empathy for such suffering for they were thought to have brought it upon themselves as a result of their sin, or some sort of demonic oppression. No one was to come near them lest they’d fall ill to the same curse of a disease, and yet “having been moved by compassion”, Jesus cleansed the leper (Mark 1:41). The heart of God is always being revealed in the person of Jesus.

It recently occurred to me that perhaps Jesus is more concerned with our being molded into his very person than with measuring up to society’s standards. Boy it is that a cross to bear, and relief all at once. It sort of frees me from my ego. It gives me rest in this time of working part-time and receiving disability benefits from social security instead of being the strong go-getter, hardball woman that I envisioned myself to be.

Coming to the Hem of His Garment

Haven’t you heard of the prostitute who wept at Jesus’ feet? Jesus spoke of her saying “the one who has been forgiven much loves much”. The whole time that I complained about the ach from these thorns of flesh, I was really feeling the weight of his glory. He was really bringing me deeper into the tides of his love and compassion. While, the Lord has all authority to give me a traditional lifestyle, he would much rather go deeper into my heart, healing wounds, by peeling back bandaids and showing me that he can minister to the irreversible damage that that has marred my soul. I am not alone and yet I realize that most in my solitude where the presence of God is most pronounced.

God is not Cruel

I am totally not saying that God does not want to give you beautiful things. I am simply asking you to dive deeper into what “beautiful” means. You were uniquely created. He knit you together in your mother’s womb and predestined you for a path designed for you! Can society heal the leper? No! Society shuns the leper, but Jesus gives him value, and more than that a testimony. Can you find beauty in the unfolding of your testimony? Can you remember that he will bring you out of these very trying times? Most importantly….he is healing you!

I love you,