How obvious is this yet how often overlooked?
It is as true as it is forgotten,
as simple as it is made difficult:
We cannot be any more ourselves than we allow ourselves to be.
Our selves can only thrive if we feed them,
care for them.
You are more yourself — most yourself — when you take care of yourself.
take care of yourself.
for better or for worse, we are counting on your Self to show up.
That’s why this is a big deal.
That’s why being your Self matters.
It’s not trendy self care for engagement and likes.
It’s not bubble baths and wine
or other pretty pictures for the squares.
Self care isn’t always about the pretty work.
lots of times,
it’s about the messy work.
we need you to do it.
We need you to take care of yourself,
to grow yourself,
to look after yourself,
the way you would a child or friend.
We need you to be yourself.
Because who you are is so distinctly shaped that in your absence there is a weird-sized hole, something is off.
We feel it.
We are missing that magic spice you and only you contribute.
We need your Self.
Who will catch the fly to left field if there is no one in left field?
Who will say the right thing at the right time if there is no one there to say it?
Who will gather the troops if there is no one there to gather them?
Who will make your art if you are not there to make it?
We need you to show up.
I know you think you are replaceable,
the same as all the others,
but you are not.
You have this unnameable quality,
this undefinable combination of characteristics,
something like timing and feelings —
those things you can’t always wrap your hands around or describe directly but that you know to be true —
that you recognize when they appear.
You have a thing like that.
A thing maybe no one — not even especially you — can name but that is noticed when it is not around.
We need you to show up.
We need You, not her or them or someone like you, You.
And so we need you to take care of You, so that You can come and do what only you can do.
Do not feel pressure.
Your unique contribution upon which we are calling is not the equivalent of carrying the team on your back, the weight of the world, bearing the burden of being the make it or break it deciding factor.
It’s not the same thing.
This is not: “The world is depending on you so you better show up!”
This is: “The world is so much better with you in it so please, help us, honor us, enrich us, show up.”
This is not: “If you don’t take care of yourself then you’re hurting other people,” for that type of conditionality feels heavy, scary, unwanted.
This is just: “If you don’t take care of yourself then you’re probably not doing what it is you seek to do anyway, because we are all really only capable of doing that which we seek to do when we are our truest, realest selves.” That type of conditionality is just a helpful truth.
If what you seek is to love, to change, to empower, to impact — why send in a representative instead of the real thing? What dent is half of you going to make and what would it cost to get all of you in the room?
It is a price always worth paying:
Taking care of You so that You can show up.
we’re not talking bubble baths and candles here.
Although, sometimes that does the trick.
We’re talking deep work and hard questions,
all the triggers and ticks.
We’re talking room to grow and the courage to do the growing.
We’re talking limiting self-beliefs and the strength to knock them down.
We’re not talking ice cream and wine.
(Although, you can’t help if that’s included…)
We’re talking confronting your excuses,
and doing the things you don’t feel like doing.
The path to becoming more yourself by taking care of yourself is about digging down to the root and figuring out who you are and what you need to feel taken care of.
And since we are all different, the things we will do to care for ourselves will also all be different.
Nonetheless, this is the first order of important business:
to get to know your Self so that you may then know how to care for that Self, so that that Self may shine and thrive and show up in the lives of those who are looking for her
It is imperative, this self work, this self care, these two which are one in the same.
To care for yourself is to work on yourself, and to work on yourself is to care for yourself in a way no one else but you can do.
This is the ultimate self care, the ultimate self love:
to hold your Self in highest regards and put your You-ness as top priority.
Not for your own selfish gains, but for the sake of others.
To be so powerfully you that others gain life simply from your being.
This is why we need You to show up.
Because You is a watering hole for so many others around you.
You is a place people come for something they cannot get anywhere else.
And you are more yourself when you take care of yourself.
take care of yourself.