I keep finding this to be true. More specifically, the self-awareness piece. You can’t progress to the self-care part of the equation without self-awareness.
In one of my biggest failures in life, I had to really evaluate myself. What was it about me (thoughts, feelings, characteristics, etc.) that led me to this failure? Unfortunately, during challenging times we may focus more on feeling good again, that we skip self-evaluation to become more self-aware.
Lack of self-awareness is dangerous, because it can lead to delusions about why we are where we are. We begin to blame other people or situations for our circumstances, when the reality is our circumstance is the outcome of poor decision-making.
When we do the opposite and sit in the mess (not to pity, but to reflect) we begin to unearth some truths and ask ourselves the hard questions. This then transitions us into the self-care phase. For some this may sound peculiar because self-care has even been branded ‘a feel good’ activity (let’s pamper ourselves!). That is part of it (it is the very last part), but not all of it.
Sometimes self-care means that once we have sat in our mess and asked ourselves the tough questions that we go seek out counseling. Or we cut out things and/or people that no longer serve our highest purpose or being. Or it may require us to read a book or follow a blog that addressees the voids within ourselves (i.e. codependency, unhealthy attachments, insecurity, etc.).
And it is not a one stop shop. Every challenge in our lives should lead back through this process: Sit in it and mediate on it (self-evaluation that leads to self-awareness), and medicate it (self-care).