Recovery from anything is a process of healing. And the process of healing happens in layers. Just like when we open to the truth of our True Self being pure love, and our connectedness and oneness with Source or Spirit, we do so bit by bit. Baby steps. When we are in the process of recovering from anything, we may have big realizations here and there. Recovery and healing is a gradual process of integrating what we think in our minds into our hearts and feelings. It takes a while to really live and apply the understanding we have resolved.

We recover from so many things: grief, loss, trauma, not loving ourselves, wishing we had done things differently, disappointments, regretting our behavior to ourselves and others. I’m sure we all can name a myriad of things we need to heal from. I need to heal from not enough rest, too much tension and worry, pushing myself too hard, expecting too much of myself, recent death of a spouse after so many years of illness, decline and caregiving. We all have our laundry lists of what we need to rest and recover from. One person’s list is not greater or lesser than another person’s. All suffering and difficulty deserves compassion.

It’s not a linear process either. It’s a series of science experiments. Finding out what fills us up, what refreshes us, what invigorates us, what takes care of us, and what drains us. What works and what doesn’t work. Step at a time.

What’s important is to have compassion for ourselves in the process. That allows us to take it day by day. Today I’ll try this. Today I need to cancel this. Today I need to sleep in. Guess I’m not going there or doing this chore today. Don’t have the energy to be on the phone. Just need to take a walk or sleep. Need to stay home today and chill. We keep asking, what is the most loving thing I can do today for myself?

And of course, if we are taking loving care of ourselves, we will eventually be more available to others. It can be a rollercoaster, a very up and down journey. How we feel and how our bodies feel can be variable. One day we might feel good. The next day, or that afternoon, we may not feel up to par. We may suggest a get together, and then be unable to keep the appointment. In great kindness, we simply say what’s true. I really wanted to get together, and I find I just can’t right now. I thought I was feeling better, but my tank is empty. I need to reschedule. People may or may not understand, and that’s okay.

When we take care of ourselves, not everyone likes it. Maybe people have expectations, or think they know what we should do or what would help us or what is best. Or they are worried they will be left out of our process. What’s true is that everyone is on their own individual path. No one knows what’s best for us. Our Higher Self will guide us if we make the space by taking a breath and checking in. We need some quiet to hear our still small voice. Not the harsh voice that berates us; that is our human ego voice. We are listening for the kind guidance that is our loving Higher Self. We will know what feels good and true for our body, our mental well being and our spirit, our heart.

There’s no rushing this process, as I am finding out so clearly. Each person proceeds at their own pace and is perfectly where they need to be on their path as always. The challenge is to notice how I feel, what’s possible today, be very kind to myself if I’m not going to be able to do what I’d like to do, and make a loving choice that takes care of me. I know it sounds simple, and I know how difficult it is. Simple, not easy. If I extend this compassion to me, I will be better at extending it to everyone else. Kindness breeds kindness.

I invite you: take a breath, just take a moment, check in. How do you feel? What do you need right now? What takes care of you? This compassion is self-care, not selfishness if it’s for our highest good and that of all concerned. And if we wind up being kinder to everyone because we are willing to take care of our sweet selves, the world will be a little better place to live.