In preparation for Self Care Solitaire's upcoming deck, which revolves mainly around symbolism, I have been doing a lot of research on archetypal images. In his theory of the human psyche, psychologist Carl Jung establishes the clinical view of archetypes as universal themes that make up different motifs residing within each person's subconscious. He describes the Self as an archetype that is the result of unification of consciousness and unconsciousness. The Self, according to Jung, develops after the integration and acceptance of all other aspects of our personality, and allows us to feel connected not only with ourselves, but with all existence.
Jung received criticism for referring to the Self as "God within us," but, to me, his statement makes sense. Connecting with what Jung titled the Self leads to feelings of unity, acceptance, and increased generosity. In discovering the Self, we are better able to identify with ourselves as individuals, but we are also able to fully see and understand our connection with with the universe and all other life. The Self is the idea of being whole in and of ourselves, but also belonging to and existing as part of a larger whole. Whether we call this Self, or God, or the Holy Spirit, or Love, or the Universe, this ability to find meaning in mysticism has been enriching the lives of humans since the very beginning.
Consider ancient mystic poets, such as Rumi, Hafiz, Lao Tzu, and Lalla, who wrote about connecting with the divine through deep exploration into their own souls. If the divine is located within us, it follows then that self care is a sacred act. Sometimes, their teachings on this matter are abstract. For example, take the Lao Tzu poem below:
Other times, these poets have straight forward and helpful insight into how to access the divine within us in a way that helps us fully care for ourselves. At my office, my computer background is a Rumi quote set in the image of a starry sky. It says,
Another Rumi quote that I love is:
According to Rumi, we both are the Universe and contain the Universe. We are a whole and a part of the whole. In our creation, we have already been provided with everything that we need. We need only to look for the divine inside ourselves for the answers that we are seeking. Read through the poems below and consider what they are communicating to you about the purpose of self care, why it's important, and why you deserve it.
What meaning do you glean from these poems? Is there one that seems especially relevant to your self care? Please share in the comments!