Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by Amy Jane Helmericks

Letter from the Editor

Self Care

January’s issue focused on Self Care is directed by Wyn’s Associate Editor, Amy Jane Helmericks.

Visualize stuffing an elephant into spandex.

That’s the way I feel about the word “Self.”

Maybe you’ve heard the story of the blind men at the elephant? Five men touched five different parts of the creature (tusk, tail, ear, leg, trunk) and an argument ensued as each fiercely asserted they’d identified the essence of this mysterious creature.

That is the way I feel about the Self. It is an elephant-sized concept with all the wrinkles and warmth, the inflexibility and folds of the various parts of an elephant; and still it is one coherent (if improbable) whole.

Much of what we’ve discussed over the previous seven months here at Wyn could be summarized as different shapes of the self, so when we talk about self-care, we are looking at an enormous topic that is, at the same time, incredibly fine-tuned and specific to each individual.

Self-care involves knowing yourself enough to know what you need, and then doing something with what you know. Sometimes this means focusing on yourself even when faced with the intense and surrounding NEED of others.

If you have a heart, a compulsion, a drive to serve and help with the brokenness that surrounds you, you are the person to whom everyone is saying “Take care of yourself, or you won’t be able to help anyone else!”

If you’re the person like me, who forgets that the mind-numbing detail-management of life is also care-giving, you might feel you don’t do enough for others to take a turn for yourself.

Either way, we all have needs: food, clothing, cleansing, rest.

These needs are tangible and real. These are what you deserve to meet, just for being born. Even if you don’t (yet) trust your own judgment or fear potential “selfishness,” you can start here.

When you’re ready to step farther, to name another piece of the elephant, we’d love to take your hand and introduce you to more, and how using that knowledge will enrich your life.

In peace and anticipation of an awakening new year,
Amy Jane Helmericks

Cover image for this issue by Phyllis Buchanan under a Creative Commons license. Photo for this article by abcdz2000 via Stock.Xchng. 

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