The third rule emphasizes the importance of self-love and self-care in our lives. Think of them as the roots of a tree, where strong roots lead to a healthy and stable life. Self-love involves understanding and accepting who we truly are, while self-care is the way we demonstrate that love to ourselves.

Self-love is akin to cultivating a friendship with ourselves. It revolves around being kind, understanding, and treating ourselves with the same love and compassion we offer to our friends. When we become our own best friend, we establish a foundation of love that supports us in all aspects of life. It is not about striving for perfection, but rather being completely okay with who we are.

On the other hand, self-care involves giving ourselves extra attention and care, just as we would for a friend. It encompasses the simple acts of looking after our bodies, minds, and hearts. Engaging in self-care sends a message to ourselves that we are deserving of that care. It is not a selfish act but an essential one. The more we love and care for ourselves, the more love and care we have to offer to others.

A zen master shared a beautiful story about self-love, emphasizing that our bodies are precious gifts that should be taken care of and listened to. This entails paying attention to how our bodies feel and what they need at times. It can be as simple as getting enough sleep, consuming nourishing food, or taking breaks when we feel tired. Prioritizing self-care creates a strong and healthy foundation for our lives.

In today's busy and fast-paced world, it is easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. We are often preoccupied with work, family, and friends, but it is crucial to remember that we need self-care too. Imagine if we treated ourselves with the same love and care as we do for others; our lives would.

Self-love and self-care are not reserved for special occasions; they should be practiced every day. By nurturing these roots, we build a foundation of love that supports us in all our endeavors. It is a journey that leads to a life filled with joy, well-being, and meaningful connections.