One of the teachings in Zen Buddhism is that our actions are our only belongings and they are the ground on which we stand. This is a powerful teaching and one that I love because it is like a foundation for many things that I believe in.
In this society we do not take care of ourselves and when we do it is frowned upon as selfish even though we find the image or idea of a worn out mother getting a break from her responsibilities to get a massage or her hair done endearing. It is confusing. Taking care of ourselves means more than the occasional pampering session. It means awareness, openness and forgiving. Awareness of our responsibilities as a person as part of one community of people living on this planet not just your little section because what you do today impacts life tomorrow and beyond. Yet, it is not the job of one person to change the world but rather it is the job of each person to care how they live in the world...AWARENESS. Open to possibilities and opportunities because they present themselves everyday through other people or situations. Keeping an open mind, heart and eyes allows us to be ready to receive and what we receive we can give out. Forgiving, the other F word. It is an art but it is an innate art. It takes practice, some times lots of it. Mostly we need to forgive ourselves because if we do not do this the walls we are creating block our abilities to give and receive in a true way. Forgiving ourselves is difficult because that means acknowledging and owning our actions and those can be unpleasant at times. Well, newsflash, we all have faulty actions in this life, we are humans, we can learn from them. I like to think of them as teachers. With awareness and openness we can take those actions that need to be forgiven and pluck the pearl of wisdom from them that can change us. Forgiving ourselves is probably one of the best "therapies" around. When we do it we can let go and focus that newly freed up energy in more positive directions. If we do not forgive ourselves, truly forgive ourselves, we are keeping walls built that block our abilities to be open and aware. The energy we are drawing is coming from that place of fault which can bring chaos, drama, needy people that are energy vampires and situations that reflect the unforgiven.
I believe that we draw energy towards ourselves and that means that we are attracting what we are putting out into the world. Our actions represent who we are and how we are living now and energy flows from them into the world. In order for our energy to be balanced and whole we must clean it up. This begins and ends with our actions, our awareness, openness and owning up to things while letting them go.
You know some times you walk into a crowd of people and it feels bad or good, well, that is the energy being put out by those people in that situation. Do not ignore it.
We must learn to take care of ourselves first so that we can help and care for others. If you can't take care of you then you can't take care of others, it is a cliche but it is truth. You will wear yourself down trying and sink. So, sit with yourself and have a deep talk, listen, learn and move forward.