The Ultimate 6-Minute Guide to Spiritual Self Care

The Ultimate 6-Minute Guide to Spiritual Self Care

Here’s a definition that I like about self
care: self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental,
and emotional health. Good self care is a challenge for many people. And it can be especially challenging for survivors
of interpersonal violence and abuse. It can also be an important part of the healing
process. Self care is unique for everyone. Why do I care about self care? Why does it matter to me? So, I was a pastor (Jason mentioned I was
a pastor) six years ago when I nearly died by suicide. It will be six years next month. I was dealing with depression and anxiety
and PTSD from childhood abuse when I was a preschooler. I had been raised in the church and never
told that I had permission to see a therapist. Or a counselor. That I should do that. Unfortunately, the way I was raised, the answer
was always Jesus. Am I allowed to say that in front of the cross?? But forreal! That’s the way I was raised. Now, let me explain what I mean: I’m not saying
Jesus is not the answer for everything. Jesus is a great answer for a whole lot of
things, but I think that Jesus would encourage us to take care of ourselves. And to go see a doctor. And to go to the counselor when you need to. And you have to understand, especially when
we’re talking about mental health, that if you have a diagnosis, or think you might have
a diagnosis of depression or bipolar or anxiety or all the other lists of things that are
possible, you should probably go get that checked out, and not be ashamed of it. Because, you know, anybody can get cancer. Anybody can get high blood pressure or high
cholesterol. Well, mental illness is a disease just like
anything else. And so we’ve got to strip away the stigma. We’ve got to be able to talk about it openly
from the pulpit, in front of the cross, and say, “you know what? yes, Jesus will save your soul. And the doctor might save your life.” And that’s okay. When I finally went to my primary care, my
family doctor, and said, “I’m not okay. I need help. I don’t know what any of this means,” but
I’m explaining all these symptoms, and she said, “Let’s start you on this little white
pill right here.” And so I started an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety
med, and it started helping immediately. A lot of people say it takes 2-6 weeks, but
I could feel a difference in about a week. I felt like I could breathe a little bit. I felt my shoulders drop. And that was a good thing. So the first step toward practicing better
self care is to slow down. Slow down! You don’t have to do all the things. And you sure don’t have to do all the things
today. So consider, what is one thing you could take
off your plate today to give yourself space to breathe and just be? Maybe you want to adopt a baby or finish a
degree or write that book or go to Europe or form a non-profit or record an album or
start a podcast. All these things are things that I want to
do, but because I’m doing all these things that I don’t want to do or all these things
that I feel pressured to do but don’t want to do, I don’t have the time or the space
or the energy to do the things I really want to do that just might make me come alive. That might change somebody’s life. You’re probably going to have to set some
boundaries. You’re probably going to disappoint somebody. You’re probably going to make somebody mad. You’re probably going to have to have some
uncomfortable conversations. But if you feel like you’re drowning, if you
feel like you can’t catch your breath, if you feel like, “wow, life is happening to
me, but not for me. life is controlling me, and i’m not in control
of my life,” then you gotta do some of these uncomfortable things. These are affirmations that when you are struggling. When you feel bogged down, these are really
good reminders: I have the right to rest. I have the right to take a mental health day. You’re not telling a lie when you take a sick
day because you’re just absolutely stressed to the max and you can’t possibly work today. Take a mental health day! I give you permission. I have the right to say “no” and stand up
for myself. Y’all, “no” is not a four-letter word! It’s a two-letter word. “No.” You can say “no”. I promise. I have the right to start over. If you have blown it, you have the right to
start over. Everybody gets a second chance. I promise, I’m on my billionth or something. It’s this little thing called “grace”. Jesus talked about it a time or two. We all get it! We all get grace, and grace is messy. Life is messy. Parenting and recovering from the things that
have wounded us – it’s all really messy. And here’s the cool thing… so there’s the
1 cross, but there were two more. So you got the one cross on one side, and
that guy was really mad – like bad chip on his shoulder. And he was pretty rough, and he said some
not-so-nice things to Jesus. Then you’ve got the other guy who says, “Hey,
remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And I think what a great way to look at grace. That, here I am, in the middle of – like this
is the worst day of my life! You know? There’s like railroad spikes through my wrists. This is a bad day! I’m nailed up here. I don’t have a cloth on. (I know when put them on in the Easter plays
at church, but I’m nailed up here for everybody to see it all.) I’m dying. This is it. Worst day of my life. And then he turns right over there and there’s
Jesus. Right in the middle of the mess with him. So whatever your cross is, whatever your mess
is, turn right over there, and I promise you, if you look just a little bit, you’ll find
Jesus right there in the middle of all that mess. So we’ve all been through some kind of living
hell. We all know how hot and miserable it can be. How unbearable it is. And when we approach our lives, and the lives
of other people around us with compassion and understanding, we choose to create heaven
where there has previously been hell.

One thought on “The Ultimate 6-Minute Guide to Spiritual Self Care

  1. Great video Steve, thanks for sharing these truths. Love that analogy of looking over to Jesus's cross from our cross in the middle of the mess. Yes, Jesus is the eternal answer, but Jesus has also called us to live here on Earth for however long, and has provided Earthly help too. It's not a sin or shameful to use that so we can keep going on our call to live this life 🙂

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