Public Domain Image.
Image Description: Paper cut outs of people are standing in a line and holding hands. The image has different shades of orange with light shining through at the top.
We need care.
We all need nourishment, rest, play, connection, love, relaxation, personal growth, and the meeting of daily needs. These take time and intention.
These days, we hear a lot about self-care, but we need community-care too. I follow the lead here of BIPOC and disability justice activists who remind us that our relationships are intended to be interdependent, and that we can practice care toward one another, meeting each other’s needs with love, consent, respect, and empowerment.
When it comes to cultivating care for ourselves, both in our practices toward ourselves and in our making requests from others… some of us were socialized to feel as though care for ourselves is somehow selfish… that it is self-centered or that the prioritizing of time for our care somehow ‘takes’ from others.
Of course, when we seek to live toward an interdependent vision for our relationships, care for ourselves creates more vitality, resilience, and energy for our loved ones and the community as a whole. It aids more than ourselves alone.
But still, even if we know that, and even if we believe that, that old socialization can run deep.
So here’s a question I find myself thinking about…
When we cultivate care for ourselves, in our practices toward ourselves and in our asking for needs to be met by others,
what if we also thought about it as “selves-care”?
Does this framing help?
Don’t we find that we are meeting needs of our younger selves?
Don’t we find that we are creating more vitality for our future selves?
Doesn’t care do that for ourselves? Reach backward and forward?
Selves-Care: Loving and aiding our past and future selves. Loving and aiding our relationships and wider community. Is this helpful?