Self Preservation - Key To Keeping Your Life On Track

Self preservation is a key element in ensuring we have a sustainable enjoyable, satisfying and productive life. We need to maintain what we have. We need to grow and develop to meet future challenges. We need self-preservation to help keep us on our journey through life.

What is self preservation?

Self-preservation is the sibling of self care. In the same way that we need to care for ourselves we need self protection, too. There is no point caring for ourselves if we then don't protect the very self that we have cared for.

What needs preserving?

So what is there to preserve? We only need look at our life to see/find the answer. We need to protect and maintain all the things that we have achieved in life. And how do we do that? By protecting ourselves. By preserving ourselves. By caring for ourselves. And protect what? Preserve what? Care for what?

The following list is a good start

  • our esteem and thereby our confidence and image
  • our values that are the cornerstone of our life
  • our motivation that gets us to do the things that we do
  • our talents which help us to achieve our goals
  • our growth that has made us the person we are today
  • our development that enhances and boosts our efforts at improvement
  • how we manage ourselves - maintain our efforts that we not only keep what we have but accomplish more and meet new challenges
  • our discipline that helps keep us on the path we walk
  • our control that helps keep the elements of our life (and this list is an important part of that) in balance and helping us move forward
  • our personality that we are able to live, able to give, able to share, able to contribute
  • our behavior so that it moves along with our growth and development
  • our life that it be fresh, renewed and bright, and us in harmony with it
  • our attitude that it be good and wholesome, free yet flexible, strong and determined, giving and resolute

So, our task appears formidable. But most of these are natural if you care and look after yourself - if you adopt a self preservation mode in life.

Preserve self - the practicalities

Preserving our self is something that easily takes second place to many other things in life. Yet it needs to one of our number one tasks, targets. For, as the advert says, are we not worth it. Of course we are worth the effort, time, attention, care, love and all those good things. Whatever we give to our favorite hobby, our beloved pet, our partner in life, we should equally give that amount of effort and time to ourselves. If we don't then who will.

And hindrances?

As with all things, it is easy to get side-tracked, and distracted by other things. 'Oh, I'm doing OK, aren't I?' we say, and put off giving ourselves the time to tackle a little situation we have in life. A situation if caught in the bud would be easily dealt with, but our delaying action lets it grow and when we do focus we find the task that much more complex, more time consuming, more exhausting than if we had dealt with the circumstance much, much earlier.

We can also

  • think 'What do I have to preserve, to protect?'. We can ask this because all is well or appears so, or we don't feel worthy of our focus.
  • wonder what there is about our life that we should need defend - either to preserve or fend off outside influences or obstructions
  • forget that we should cherish and safeguard all that we are, all that we have achieved within ourselves - that we may use this knowledge and wisdom, without hindrance, in the future
  • wonder why we need support when all the things in our life appear to be going swimmingly, but find that, just around the corner, life throws us a Yorker (apologies for the cricketing term) that catches us off guard and knocks us off course
  • think that to preserve self is knocking on the door of being self-centered, being self-aggrandizing, and shows too much self interest; so we don't walk the thin but practical line of giving ourselves some attention for fear of going too far
  • think that looking after ourselves, of using self preservation, of using self protection, will be seen as unhealthy self indulgence and therefore avoid the subject; and avoid the subject until a dose of self preservation and self protection is really required, when the task is found to be that much more demanding
  • think that we have done that before and not gained much from it, forgetting that now we have moved on in life, our life is fuller, more expressive, more fulfilling, and we are more able to preserve and care for our self - and that now there is actually more, more substance and reality in our life to look after
  • think that self preservation is a fixative, something to 'fix' our life and, therefore, miss the point of the exercise. If we have left things until they do need fixing then we need to deal with that. Otherwise we can and should see the preservation process in a refreshing, renewing light rather than a technical repair one
  • think that to protect yourself is not for you, and is the stuff of James Bond movies or the like

There is much to preserve and protect

If we give ourselves to life then there is much about us and our life that we should care for, that we should preserve, that we should safeguard, that we should maintain, that we should defend.

What we need do is see us as worthy of such attention, worthy of self preservation. That we are worthy of this 'self love'. Realize that we are doing it for the noblest of reasons, and not for vanity or the like. Realize that there is nothing wrong with this type of self maintenance, and that we all do it to a certain extent. Just with an active, fulfilling life we should be doing it consciously, doing it regularly, doing it with care and attention, doing it with love and compassion.

In so doing, this act (indeed continuing acts) of self preservation will not only maintain us on the path through life that we lead, but energize us, motivate us, propel us, and give us the momentum to meet life's many challenges on the road to fulfilling our true and full potential.