“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NLT)
By now, you have already paused, pondered, and pivoted about your views and actions on self-care. You may have seen how it can work in the nooks and crannies of your life. Hopefully, you are progressing in your life, doing small steps or big leaps to take care of your inner and outer self and be the person God meant you to be: body, soul, and spirit.
The session I did last May 2021 was titled “Self-Care and Beyond.” The word beyond holds much meaning. It means “beyond skin deep” to refer to more than what’s on the outside or externals. So, self-care is a way to nourish both the outer and inner life. What helps our physical being helps our mental and emotional parts. What help our emotions may also help us feel physically and mentally well. They also affect our relationships. What is good for our spirit may help us flourish in our other concerns or activities. Self-care supports our total well-being. It’s not just a part of us but covers the whole person.
Beyond also connotes our souls. Humans are made of body, soul, and spirit. BiblesforAmerica.org explained, “The soul is our very self; a medium between our spirit and our body, possessing self-consciousness that we may have our personality. Our soul as persons is our persona, who we are as a person. With our soul, we think, reason, consider, remember, and wonder. We experience emotions like happiness, love, sorrow, anger, relief, and compassion. And we’re able to resolve, choose, and make decisions.”
Authentic self-care is an invitation for your body and the spirit to work together. The entire person—body (and mind), along with the soul and the spirit, must work together. Again, BiblesforAmerica.org wrote, “Our body exists in and contacts the tangible things of the material world using our five physical senses. The body is the visible, external part of our being, and it contains the soul. Our soul is the vessel containing our spirit.” This is the wonderful integration of how we are created, and we intentionally create a deeper relationship with the “self ” as it connects us with God.
Studies have found that people fail in self-care, because they don’t see it as an intersection of their spiritual life and their physical life. Another reason is because they lack compassion. In this final part of the book on self-care and the soul, we will talk about stewardship, self-compassion, a life of significance, and spiritual integration. The following pages will teach you
to fill your innermost self—your soul. I hope to make you appreciate nourishing your outer and inner life to authentically and intentionally create a deeper relationship with yourself and your Maker.
*This excerpt is taken from the newest book of Michele S. Alignay PhD, You Can Care For You, available now in paperback and e-book copy at http://www.feastbooks.ph!