This week: Self CareEdited by: Sophy v.2021
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Hi, I'm Sophy v.2021 ~ your editor for this edition of the Spiritual Newsletter.
The Rev. Scotty McLennan, author of the book Finding Your Religion, compares humanity's innate need for spiritual searching to climbing a mountain. In his view, we are all endeavoring to climb the same figurative mountain in our search for the divine, we just may take different ways to get there. In other words, there is one "God," but many paths. I honor whatever path or paths you have chosen to climb that mountain in your quest for the Sacred.
Caring for Ourselves
While I grew up being told how important it is to care for other people - "love your neighbor," Jesus told us - there was never much talk about caring for oneself (even though the whole quote from Jesus is "love your neighbor as you love yourself"). The emphasis was put on loving others, which of course is important - but there was never much attention on love of self, as it was often misinterpreted as pride or selfishness.
However, love of self, caring for oneself, is crucial to caring for others - if we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be able to take care of others. We won't have the energy, or strength for it. Jesus understood that balance of self-care and care for others. His life was filled with compassion and caring for others, but he balanced that with time for himself to recharge his batteries (there are many instances where he is said to have "gone off by himself to pray," or to spend time with friends and loved ones).
I've been thinking of self-care a lot lately. This past year has been challenging for so many around the world due to the pandemic. Our lives changed as we worked from home (if we were lucky), transitioned to online school and church, and stopped seeing family and friends. Some lost jobs and homes, and way too many lost their lives. It's been such a hard time, and even though we seem to be on our way out of the worst of it, as more and more people are vaccinated, we still aren't out of the woods yet. I've been fully vaccinated, but am still careful when I leave my home, and wear a mask wherever I go. I'm frustrated by those who do not (get vaccinated or wear a mask), and while I respect everyone's right to make their own choices, it feels like the acts of others are going to continue to impact how long before we can return to a more "normal" life. And that's been getting me down.
The New York Times recently published an article called "There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing" by Adam Grant, which I found very helpful. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.htm...) I've been feeling "half a bubble off" these past few months - not depressed or hopeless, but also not filled with joy. The article describes languishing as feeling stagnant or empty, muddling through. It feels like we are looking at life through a fogged up windshield. Those are all apt descriptions of how I've been feeling.
Fortunately the article offers some advice on how to deal with languishing, and some of that advice suggests opportunities for self-care. Among the suggestions are carving out little moments of uninterrupted time to do something we love - put our phones down, turn off our laptops, and read a book, write a poem, watch a favorite tv show, go for a walk, sit outside and listen to the birds. The list is endless - the gist is to unplug and do something for yourself for a few minutes (or more) every day. Maybe that could even mean doing something for someone else as well.
I'd love to hear what you do for self-care - reply to this newsletter and I will share your ideas with others.
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Here is a response to my last newsletter "Spiritual Newsletter (March 31, 2021)" "Poetry as Spiritual Expression:"
From Mary Ann MCPhedran/fearless
Hi, Sophie, thank you for sharing, and I wrote this poem a while back "praying hands for World Peace. >" I hope you like it.
Thank you for sharing!
Please keep your comments and suggestions coming! Until next time! Sophy v.2021
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