Written by: @zkhamisa
How many of us grew up learning these concepts or even hearing these words? Not many. Fair enough we had to learn a lot of crucial skills like how to eat 3 meals a day, take a shower, play card games, make friends (is anyone still learing this one?), the Pythagorean theorem (is anyone using this one?), read To Kill A Mockingbird but self-care, self-love, and self-compassion? Ain't nobody got time for that.
These are concepts I only recently started learning about and putting into personal practice after acknowledging and admitting to struggling with my mental health over the last two years. Growing up and getting through school and university you are made to believe that these feelings of stress, worry, fear, isolation, and extreme behaviour are 'normal' during this time. After being in school for the last 22 years or so, I have never worked harder than during the last few years, learning about these 3 Selfs and integrating them into my life step by step after graduating when those ‘normal’ feels grow deeper and darker and definitely did not go away.
Why we don’t learn these huge, life-changing concepts in school is beyond me. There is certainly more conversation about mental health in schools then there was when I was growing up. Is it becoming more talked about or are these simply more mental health cases? What are we doing as a society that is increasing the prevalence of mental health challenges? The first step to change is inquiry, asking the better questions in hopes of finding the better answers. I hope this is where we begin and that it inspire others to learn and implement these key concepts. It is such important work that I am finally allowing myself to do.
Take a moment to reflect on when and if you have learned these concepts? Where are you at with each one? Maybe when we start to master the 3 Self’s can we truly find authentic love, compassion, and care for others and the world. Eleanor Brownn explains this best “When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Let the quotes below inspire you as an introduction to my favourite group of three, the 3 Self’s.
Self-love: literally loving and accepting all aspects of your-self.
“The most important thing you will ever do in your life is learn to embrace your unique, honest self. A boundless, infinitely popular universe and there is nothing else here quite like you. This is your power. All those things that make you strange and different are what makes you irreplaceable.” –Beau Taplin
Self-compassion: self-kindness + shared humanity + mindful acceptance
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” -Buddha
Self-care: meeting our needs in the healthiest way possible
“I am learning everyday to allow the spaces between where I am and where I want to be inspire me and not terrify me.” –Tracee Ellis Ross