Selfish or Self Caring ?
Taking care of yourself doesn't mean me first, it means me too.
Few words cause us to judge so instantly as those about us.We can find ourselves descending into our own psyche judging whether we are right or wrong, good or bad or whether in fact it is someone else who is to ‘blame.’
Hear yourself called selfish or feel like you are being ‘Selfish’ and in your head you’ll likely be catapulted back to your childhood – being told off for not being kind , for not sharing or behaving like a ‘spoilt’ child .
Right from the off we learned it’s unkind. We shouldn’t be selfish and we won’t be lovable if we are. As a result it can mean we don’t put ourselves or our needs first – for fear of being ‘unloved’ or disliked ( it’s all so logical in our brains !).
Helping people , putting others first and caring for them on the other hand is a good thing – so it follows the more we do the more ‘loveable’ we are….doesn’t it ?
But as with most opposing ideas it is neither healthy to be at one or other end of the Selfish /Selfless continuum.
If we make a high degree of investment in others we need to invest equally in ourselves in order to have the resources to do this – in other words practice ‘Self Care’.
Self - Care is quite a different concept to being Selfish and its one we may not hear familiar voices giving us clues about what we might do.
Care ( in whatever form you experienced it) was provided by your care –givers . The concept of self-care is something we learn later when we become responsible to ourselves for our own health and well-being.Self-Care is simply doing those things which we find nourish and restore our energy and mood. And that can be different for everyone.
While some would find curling up with a good book restorative others would prefer to pull on the walking shoes and get out in the fresh air. When we grew up we didn’t have to think about it.
Many of us , much like our favourite pets, were fed, watered and exercised through a combination of home and school. Whether you hated PE or looked forward to Art , you were exposed to a range of different experiences , all of which contributed to our well-being and learning.Why would it need to be any different as an adult ?
So maybe next time you ‘feel selfish , just wonder whether or not what you are actually doing is caring for yourself ...