I used to think that looking after yourself first (before others) was a very selfish thing to do. I was in a mindset that said I had to give more to others and be content with having ‘less’. It’s almost as if I felt there could never be a balance of having the same thing for yourself and others. Even worse (heaven forbid!) to have more than the other person. To me it was never a question of right or wrong in my ‘giving’, it was more like, “Did I give enough?”
I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that to be ‘selfish’ is actually a very important thing to do. By ‘selfish’, I don’t mean greedy or causing others any harm. What I mean is that ‘self-care’ is so incredibly vital for not only our own well-being, but to help others as well. We can’t give fully to others if we are not ourselves healthy, happy, and content. It reminds me of the airline safety speech that flight attendants provide to passengers. It goes something like, “Should there be a drop in cabin pressure, place the oxygen mask first on yourself and then on your child”. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? How is the parent going to assist their child if they haven’t first taken the oxygen themselves?
I love this analogy. I now realize that it is okay to look after yourself first; in fact, it is vital to do so. I think society does one heck of a good job in making us feel the opposite. I’m not buying it anymore. And you know something? We really do teach people how to treat us, don’t we? By allowing ourselves to draw the proverbial line in the sand which says, “I will always give to others, but I expect to receive as well” it’s really saying we want to live a life of balance.
Whenever I am tempted to go a bit overboard with giving to everyone but myself, I try to picture a ‘balance scale’ with one side practically tipping over, and the other empty. I then realize that my inner ‘self-care’ balance is wayyyyy off and I need to rectify it as soon as possible. The reason for this is because it truly does throw every other part of your life out of whack, for lack of a better term. Giving too much deletes our own happiness, our feeling of self-worth.
I still have a lot to learn about self-care versus giving too much, but I wanted to share this with you today in case anyone else needed a wee reminder as well.
I hope your Sunday is balanced to your sheer and utter delight!