I was talking with a girlfriend of mine recently. She looked tired and run down. I didn’t want to say anything but I just asked, “how have you been doing?” She replied that she has been going non-stop and has been taking care of a sick parent, as well as a husband and her kids. She has been doing for others with super-human capacity.

As much as I admire her service to her family, it got me wondering…”what happens when her tank is empty?” Who will care for her the way she is caring for others and who will care for others who still need her. How often have I done just that, run myself ragged without much time for self-care and renewal? Actually, I have done it more times than I can count, not to mention when I was addicted to drugs…self-care was nowhere to be found. This neglect has to stop if I am going to be of any use in my own life.

Basic self-care must come first in my life if I am to be of any use to anyone else. The basics of rest, nutrition, and hydration are a start but also the spiritual basics of mediation, affirmation and compassion. Have I taken a moment of quiet contemplation in my day today? Have I found specific cause to affirm what I am doing well in the World today? Am I compassionate to myself when I judge that something could have been done better? When I give myself the gift of these basics for my physical, spiritual and emotional needs I am ready to be a conduit for Love out in the world. In fact the most loving thing you can do for the whole World is to care deeply for and about yourself.

Today, I recognize the spiritual quality of self-care. I realize that the most profoundly altruistic activity I can do daily is to attend to my physical and spiritual needs. I love and care for myself which gives me the capacity to love and care for the world. I AM a conduit for Love.