We are all familiar with the Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.”
Yet have you ever truly considered how do you treat yourself?
Too often we live in a constant cycle of self criticism, even if it’s subtle. Or worse trap ourselves in the role of the victim of our circumstances. I propose we also stop and say, “Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.”
You are special. You are worthy. You do not deserve the suffering you are experiencing.
I’m not proposing being self absorbed or selfish. I’m proposing the importance of taking care of yourself. In slowing down and taking care of yourself, you will be able to be more and do more in the long run. It is the other well known concept that on the airplane if there is a loss of pressure and the oxygen masks come down, you put yours on first before helping others.
So, here I am with my first blog post after a long hiatus. I’ve been busy caring for my patients, my family and myself. I could choose to dwell on the fact that I haven’t written for a while, or celebrate that I am writing again now. Which approach is healthier for me?
I see many patients who are suffering from pain or depression or both. And they get stuck in unhealthy patterns. The exciting thing is that they are moving in a positive direction by making an appointment and trying something different. They are getting unstuck. They are moving more, eating differently, thinking positively and doing good things for their body, mind and spirit.
You can get unstuck and be kind to yourself, too. Look where you want to go. Take a step – even a small one – in that direction. That is what my LIVE IT approach is all about.
Here is what one of my patients recently said about applying the Golden Rule to herself helped her get well:
“Sometimes the strongest, most powerful medicine is stillness. Dr. Julie gave me permission to find this, which saved my life.
After recovering from two breast cancer surgeries, hormone therapy, and a car accident in 2013, I was mentally and physically exhausted in 2014. Working full time was not working for me. Dr. Julie gave me a prescription for 30 days of rest, which I took to heart. During those 30 days I used the time to get quiet, find my passion, re-evaluate what was important to me, and become a certified yoga instructor. It changed my life. I’ve left the painful job, started my own company, lost 20 pounds, improved my diet, healed old traumas, and continue to be cancer free. Most importantly, I am happy with myself. With Dr. Julie’s insight and encouragement, I gave myself permission to find joy, contentment, and passion in my life. In my opinion, it is now a life worth saving.”
What will you do to embrace the Golden Rule in reverse?
Recommended for extra reading/listening:
The Neuroscience of Change by Kelly McGonigal PhD
One Minute For Yourself by Spencer Johnson MD
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