Nature Vs. Nurture: How Do You Take Care of Yourself?


As I sit down to write this evening, I hear sirens from a fire truck rolling down the street. Whenever I hear sirens, I say a little prayer. I visualize a light and love for the best possible outcome going over the vehicle, protecting the people on board speeding to their destination and the waiting person in need on the other end. Then, I go one my way.

This blessing, this extension of energy, costs me nothing but it’s a reminder to me of how deeply connected everyone is. I like to think there are a lot of people who do this. Everyone providing a moment of support to a stranger they will never know in the simplest way without consequences.  It doesn’t matter when, just that you had moments in your life when you simply thought of someone other than yourself and gave them a moment of your faith when they were in a situation where they might have lost theirs. This is the nature of nurturing. To give so that someone else will survive and their survival not be dependent on you.

But that’s not all the time. Sometimes it’s easier to see the bad in the world. To think that power and time are limited and that I have to get what I deserve before someone takes it away from me. That this is just the way it is. If someone is going to be in charge, it might as well be me. I’m going to be lied to, cheated on, hurt by, and talked about anyways, so I’m going to do it to you first. But this is the way of the ego–that voice in your head that doesn’t shut up until it has your full attention. To kill or be killed. The nature of nature.

How do you take care of yourself? Is it a combination of nature and nurture? Or mostly nature with a sprinkle of nurture on top for good measure? Your nature is to be a creature of habit. To pursue what’s comfortable, convenient and available. But habits don’t create a well-lived life, they create an unlived one. When you nurture yourself, you seek the moments of quiet, the moments of reflection, so you can reflect that back out to the world. A world filled with warmth, gentleness, laughter and healing. A world where people have your back and don’t leave you hanging no matter what. You become a mirror for all the beauty that exists right here, right now. You see the future and it’s not painted black. It’s not 3D Alice in Wonderland either. It’s not a futuristic unimaginable Cheshire smiling cat with a spinning head. It just is. And the is-ness is enough.

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