For most of my 12 years of being a pastor I have struggled with self-care. It has only been in the last year that I have began to do something about this. I have struggled with this over the years because I have had the faulty belief that it was wrong from me to take time to take care of myself. I thought this was selfish and wrong. Thankfully, I saw the light last year when I had to take a medical leave because of health issues.
Over this last year I have changed a LOT in my life in regards to self-care. I have started taking two days off a week with one of those days being a Sabbath. I have been learning to say “No” to things that I don’t need to be doing. I have been exercising more regularly. I don’t feel as guilty (there is still a part of me that does and I am working on that) when I take time to rest and take care of myself. I am having victory over the faulty belief that I NEED to do everything and be involved in everything.
But even with all the changes that I have made it is still so easy for me to fall back into old patterns. I found myself doing this lately. God needed to remind me again that self-care is of vital importance. He did this through Pete Scazzero – author of “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life In Christ.” Pete has began writing a blog (I highly recommend it).
Recently he has been doing a series on a rule of life that he has developed for his church. Last Wednesday he wrote about rest. He had three statements on rest: (1) Value my own dignity as a human being made in God’s image through self-respect and self-care (2) Ruthlessly eliminate hurry and (3) Remember God’s history of faithfulness with each new challenge. The one that stuck out to me was the first one: value my dignity as a human being made in God’s image through self-respect and self-care.
Self- care is VITALLY important. The evil one wants me to fall back into old patterns so that I am ineffective. I am not going to give him that pleasure. I must continue to fight against old habits and faulty beliefs. I will value my dignity as a human being made in God’s image through self-care!
Is self-care important to you? Why or why not? What are you doing to take care of yourself?