Once upon a time, there was a cobbler who was famous for the elegant shoes that he used to make. He was also generous and kind hearted, helping anyone in need. He lived in a small village and he was the only talented cobbler in that village. He was responsible for repairing the shoes and making new shoes for everybody in that village. After some days, he noticed that his own shoes were torn but he was busy tending to the needs of the villagers and making exquisite shoes for some of the rich, getting a lot of praise in the process. He completely ignored the worn out shoes that he was wearing. Initially, there was no problem, but slowly there was a big hole in the sole of his shoes and it started becoming frail and torn. However he neglected the state of the torn shoes and kept on making footwear for others, feeling happy with the appreciation. He felt satisfied when you made free shoes for the people who did not have the means to afford it.
In due course of time, his tattered and worn out shoes started giving him painful blisters and he began walking with a limp, some of his customers started to worry about it, but he reassured them that it will get cured in a while. They continued to shower him with blessings and wishes for a selfless service and hard work. He was lauded for doing a fantastic job in spite of the boils, blisters and the limp.
After a few months, the blisters became extremely painful and the infection started spreading to the extent that he could no longer work. He could neither repair his shoes nor make or repair anyone else’s. He started regretting the gross neglect of his part as he lay on his bed tending to his wounds.
Does this story seem familiar to what many of us have done with our lives or what we have faced? This is a simple story which would have struck a chord with many of you to address an important issue this significant aspect of our life which we tend to ignore often is self-care and self- love.
In this self absorbed world, we tend to ignore the fact that our cup is not only half empty, it is almost empty. We spend years neglecting the poor state of our own half filled cup while tending to the needs of the people around us. Taking care of others gives us a sense of satisfaction and contentment. We often ignore ourselves and our own needs were trying to appease others.
If you do not look after yourself, after a while, the hollowness within you will make you incompetent to tend to the needs of others. Even with the best of your intentions, you won’t be able to radiate or share any happiness, or take care of the needs of anyone if youareempty from within. If one does not have time to care for themselves, then no one will.
This principle is applicable in the current global scenario where in we are under tremendous stress and pressure due to the ongoing pandemic. This is particularly in the case of frontline workers and all those who are impacted by the invisible monster, who have barely any time for self care and self grooming.