Make Time for Your Self

“Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

~ Maya Angelou (1928-),
contemporary American poet and author,
in Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Perhaps you feel exhausted, but you will not take time to rest. Or maybe you’re hungry, but too busy to make time to eat. Maybe your soul cries out for some peace, but all you think of is your next to do list task.

We treat ourselves as objects in so many different ways. Yet perhaps the most abusive way in which we lack attunement to ourselves is that we simply don’t make time for ourselves.

We make time for everything and everyone else, but not ourselves. Isn’t it so? Typically soon after awakening, our minds and soon our bodies ceaselessly propel through the day’s innumerable tasks, until at night our heads hit our pillows with a prayer for sound sleep.

Day after day, year after year, and perhaps life after life we forfeit the human privilege of an inner life. It will always be this way, as long as we succumb to the spell that leads us to believe that the complexity and the busyness of outer life matter more than an inner life.

Yet a life of personal authenticity requires that we dispel that illusion. Authenticity asks of you and I that not only we express our uniqueness outwardly, but also that we listen inwardly in order to discern, and apprehend that Self which sources our uniqueness. To turn inwards, we need to make time for ourselves.

Time for yourself is a time when you temporarily withdraw within to rest in the gentle shade of your True Nature, your deepmost Self. There you may rest, away from the white noise of the innumerable cares, tasks, responsibilities, and relationships which would deafen you to your more essential inner life.

During such time for yourself, perhaps you’ll find yourself thinking, getting in touch with feelings, reflecting, inquiring, meditating, journaling, or spiritual reading. Perhaps you’ll even let yourself do nothing, until you find your Self simply resting deeply in timeless Being.

Making time for yourself is a personal sabbath of sorts. It’s reported that after dirtying his/her hands with six days of toil, on the seventh day God rested. The day of rest which became the tradition of the sabbath implicitly honors the priority of the inner life by forbidding work, and celebrating Source.

While you may not be able to take a day for yourself, certainly you can honor the importance of your own inner life by making it an authenticity practice to take 20 minutes each day for your Self. Just 20 minutes can become a foundational practice of your day, if not your life.

Now and then, something may tempt you to set aside this time for yourself. Except for emergencies, the waiting tasks, the ringing phone, the emails, etc. that you could be doing during those 20 minutes are materialism’s siren call tempting you to disregard an inner life on behalf of outer life’s ensnaring complexity. Until you the day you die, there will always be more email, more phone calls, and more tasks to do. Time for yourself usually does not happen on its own; instead you make time for yourself.

Is taking time for yourself selfish. No it isn’t, and yes it is. Taking time to relate more deeply to your very own life and your True Nature is not selfish in the sense of being narcissistic. It is Self-ish as in honoring the Self. Moreover I suspect that were you, I, and others to engage the Self more actively, then our relationships, our lives, and our world would be less troubled.

If you do not believe your busyness is more important than your inner life, then make time for your Self.

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