The truth about self care
Self care isn’t always about manicures, bubble baths and healthy food. Sometimes it is forcing yourself to get out of bed, take a shower and participate in life again.
- Meredith Marple
Ok, you’ve read the books, you still are, you are deeply involved into improving yourself, you meditate or practice yoga, you workout, maybe not, you go to the seminars or retreats, you take care of yourself more than you ever did before, you are really committed to being better but somehow it’s getting harder and harder to engage with the world genuinely and connect with your peers. You are feeling more and more disconnected from your friends, your coworkers, maybe even your family. Because it has gotten harder and harder to get along with them, your self care urges pushed you into spending less and less time with them (unless very necessary, like family gatherings) and into slow isolation. Sounds familiar?
Did for me and still does sometimes. I was born in a family of 6 kids with a very strong bond. My parents did all they could to instill in us the values of the Catholic Church and to keep the family connected over several core beliefs. I was always the one to ask those complicated questions about life that kids can come up with at times and all the answers (or non answers) I was getting, were just not satisfying enough. This is literally what triggered my desire to know more, think more beyond what I was tought and challenge my beliefs. As you can expect, as my beliefs changed, my relationship with my family suffered as well. It got to the extreme point where I was going through months at a time without talking to them.
Maybe your experience has been quite different than mine but I think the separation between you and your peers that happens once you upgrade/change your beliefs about how to live your life and how to take care and stand for yourself is only a natural process. So if you’ve been feeling trapped in guilt or self blame because of it, here is the first thing to step up your self care game: LET IT GO. Let’s explore why this separation happens before we get to practical ways about how to reengage with your crowd genuinely.
WHY DOES THE SEPARATION OCCUR ONCE YOU CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS?
Spiritual Ego: It is so easy to get caught up in the thought that your new way of looking at the world is “THE WAY”. And every time you find yourself in that situation, it is also very easy to try and get others to join you into your new beliefs. So you become the preacher, you try to get them to change, you explain your ideas with strength and determination. But one thing that people are very protective of, sometimes at the same level than their physical sanity, is their own beliefs. So every time you threathen their beliefs, they just push you away.
The betrayal syndrome: Beyond family ties or the common interest that you have with your friends, the main reason that keep you close is the beliefs you share. So when you choose to change, to most of them it feels like you betrayed a core part of them. This is usually followed by judgement. Judgement from them because of the betrayal and then judgement from you because you are being rejected.
The vibrational shift: On a more metaphysical perspective, your change of beliefs affects directly the vibration or energy signature that you are putting out. Therefore, because your vibration is significantly different of the one of your friends and family, the distance gets created.
Unless part of your purpose on the planet is to explore the secrets of being alone or even loneliness, human beings are social creatures and you will always be called to connect with others. Even more than that, there are some relationships that you cannot just cast out of your life, especially when it comes to family. So it’s important to find better ways to engage with the world while your own beliefs are ever changing. Most of the time, keeping yourself separate is only hiding. It is so easy to rationalize and very comforting at times but it is not serving you and it is not serving others either. It is not allowing you to live to your full potential, so it’s at the opposite of what self care stands for. And as much as it is important to find a new tribe that has the same vision of the world than you do, it is equally important to know how to connect better with the tribe that you have now so that you can live fully.
HOW TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR PEERS AFTER YOU’VE UPGRADED YOUR BELIEFS
Let go of wanting to control them: There is not much you can do to control what others choose to believe, so let it go. They have free choice. There is a sense of security and belonging that comes with the fact that your friends or family believe what you believe but everytime you intentionally try to stir them in one direction, the controlling vibes that they feel from you threaten directly their sense of free choice so they armour up.
The best thing you can do is letting go of wanting to control their beliefs and as you do so, they will soften up around you.
Let go of wanting to protect your beliefs or rebel: wanting to protect your beliefs is the core reason why you create the distance in a fearful way to begin with. This will sound a tiny bit far fetched for most of you but one of the reasons why others attack your beliefs is because you want to protect them. Let’s think about it more vibrationally and law of attraction based: the more you want to protect your beliefs, the more the universe will send your ways reasons that will lead you to wanting to protect your beliefs. Therefore, you will notice more the relatives that strongly disagree with your opinions or the friends that are really triggering that insecurity will show up more in your way. As you tune down the desire to protect your own beliefs, those frictions will disappear.
Practice compassion for them and for yourself: with all that we’ve discussed now, you understand that it’s only normal for your friends and family to react the way they reacted and for you to do the way you did. It took you to be exposed to new ideas and experiences for you to upgrade your beliefs and most of all, it took you time. You have to understand that they haven't been exposed to the same stuff. So practice compassion, understand things a bit more from their perspective and let the judgement out of the way. If they are really meant to adopt your perspective and if it seems to be something that they subconsciously desire, they will make their way to it one way or another.
If you blocked out your friends and family and blame yourself for it, forgive yourself and move on.
Don’t expect things to be the same as they used to: As you re-initiate the connection with your people, it is important to know that things will not be the same as they used to be. You might not connect over the same things or values as you used to do in the past and it has to be OK. In my case, I do not bond anymore with my mother around going to church on sundays but we do over relationships and parenting; And I have the feeling that our relationship drastically improved because I feel truer to myself in the way we connect now. You will need to find new ways, new subjects, new reasons that bring you together with your people and focus more of your time together on it. It might take you to be vulnerable enough to make the first step, to show the first signs of openness, to apologize first even if you feel like you are the one needing an apology.
Keeping yourself deliberately in seclusion is not really in alignment with the principles of self care (at least if you don't enjoy being secluded). For most of us, relationship will always have a great place in our lives. So finding ways to stay connected to those we love while upgrading our beliefs is more than needed. So go out there and CONNECT.
Thank you for reading. Share with somebody who might need this.