Article by Gabriela Thiecke
We must first be kind to ourselves so we may be resilient enough to give of ourselves.
by Gabriela Thiecke, Naturopath at Artemisia Natural Medicine in Brisbane / Ashgrove
The proverbial God helps those who help themselves can easily be misunderstood as an invitation to act selfishly. However, since we live in a society of interconnected individuals, it makes sense to ensure that our needs are met before we can reach out with a helping hand to others. (Note the word needs, not wants). A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Our needs include food, shelter, sleep, recreation, good health and love. A lack of any one of these basic needs renders us dysfunctional. Just as we must learn to love ourselves first before we can truly love another, so too can a new mother adequately feed her baby only if she has properly nourished herself. How can we offer our hospitality to others if by misfortune we are sleeping out on the park bench? And what about our current rule of all work, no play? Sadly, the toll many of us have paid for this is a waning enthusiasm for being alive. From this abyss of despair, it’s little wonder we find it hard to go the extra mile.
Perhaps it’s time for a fundamental culture change to put the sparkle back into our lives. Let’s be more “selfish” to free up reserves for us to become more altruistic again. These reserves begin with sufficient time and presence of mind to tap into our conscience, the seat of our values, that prompts us into thinking ‘no’ when something conflicts with what we truly believe. What greatness could be achieved if we would actually say ‘no’... If we learned to let go of much of what we’ve been told we must have, we could find security in what we are. Instead of delivering ourselves to the tyranny of orthodoxy, we could assert our inner sovereignty and rise like a phoenix from the ashes of a paradigm gone up in smoke.
Acts of kindness or solidarity, they say, are the most telling indicators of society’s emotional wellbeing. If we wish for our world to be kinder, wisdom has it that we must be kind first. My take on this is that we must first be kind to ourselves so we may be resilient enough to give of ourselves.
Similarly, in our present times of belt tightening we might be tempted to opt for instant noodles, instead of fresh fruit and vegetables or pop a pill when we could be kinder to ourselves by investigating the root causes of our problem and doing something about it.
We need to be in good health to take care of business, our families and our community. I know, good health isn’t everything but without it, everything else amounts to nothing.
21 Nov 2010
Last Update: 10 Nov 2011
Article/Information supplied by Gabriela Thiecke
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.