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Self-Care or Selfishness?


There is a sick martyrdom trip going on in our midst, where the notion of doing something for yourself is met with guilt, confusion and a host of excuses about how indispensable you are to the lives of others. After all, who has time to exercise when there are people out there that need your "help"?


Pardon the cynical tone, but in my loong observations of people whose lives work - and those whose don't - success floods to those who keep their energy bucket full. These people who are mindful about how they feel and take care to face the world feeling cheerful, healthy and energised.


The rest face the world feeling stressed, drained and unhappy (ie on an empty tank), all in the name of "being a friend" and "working hard".


Puh-lease.


If you want to add some real value to your world, it's time to realise that your notion of "helping" others at the expense of your own well-being is the ultimate selfish act, and for a plethora of reasons.


Firstly, you are no good to anyone on an empty tank. Smile solidly as you might, your underlying energy is still tired, stressed and cranky and your mate is surely to pick up on that. If they need to talk, rather reschedule and see them when you can be truly present.


Secondly, very often you agree to help only to feel better about yourself and manage the opinions others uphold of you, rather than out of genuine consideration of what your friend actually needs.


For instance, do any of these sucky statements secretly hold true?


1) "I feel too guilty to say NO when a friend asks me to do a favour for them. I should always be there for my friends".


2) "I need to go to everything I am invited to. It is rude to decline and besides, I don't want to miss out".


3) It's OK if I get behind on my tasks and responsibilities to self. My friends need me more."


Ok, so here is the reality:


a) Relationships are built on an energy transference. Guilt and resentment do not a healthy dynamic make. Do something only if it's in your heart.If you "have" to, so that they don't think "badly" of you, or judge you in another way... and you need them to still think "well" of you, then get a reality check. These are not valid reasons for service (a resounding "this is about my friend's well-being, not about their opinion of me" is a green light, however). If you do go ahead with the 'favour', you are skewing with the natural flow of things (guided by your intuition) and an unbalanced dynamic will occur which will poke power holes in your friendship.


b) Do not become an "enabler". In pop-psychology, this a term for a rescuer, someone who comes in to "fix" the dramas of their loved ones in the short term, but in effect leaving them disempowered for the sake of their own 'hero' fantasy in the long-term. Even though you think you're helping, if you got gut-honest with yourself you will admit that this is weeey more about you.


c) Do not see your friends - and especially your lover - on an empty battery. As I said earlier, the world needs you strong, bouncy and glowing - not in drained, stressed martyr mode. Too often we forgo exercise, massage and just general chilling in favour of overworking, doing too much for people or socialising to the brim. Remember, friends only genuinely need your help only once in a while. If your friends are always in some sort of drama that you feel compelled to fix, then you are not in a healthy dynamic and its costing you dearly. Wake up.


d) Stop trying so hard. Who are you trying to impress? What's driving your striving? Feminine energy especially is about receiving. Self-care means to filling up on your happy vibes, so that powerful magnetic energy can work through you. When you relax and release tension from yourself, there is more room for goodness to enter you.


When we are not in flow and things stop going our way, we start to over-compensate by working too hard. This is SUCH a common and unnecessary problem and it breaks my heart to see it in action. In fact, I too lost my footing only a few weeks ago. I dropped the ball, and life suddenly got hard. Once I got back on the horse, things started swimming again.


Now I know that my self care comes first. I don't do a thing until I meditate, have my run and journal my intentions for the day. These rituals help me feel full of energy, confidence and guidance. I find when I do that, I don't need to lift a finger - things and ideas just flow.


Similarly, if I don't make the time for myself (even skipping a meditation session), everything is in reverse. No matter what I do, how hard I work or how intently I try... Nothing happens.


SO - if you are always tired and busy doing things for everyone but yourself, it may be time to ask: why are you trying so hard? Aren't you over over-compensating? Frankly, it sounds like you are consuming yourself with all the wrong things and you are best off getting busy meditating and having a massage, don't you think? :)


Ok, so before we get too excited, lets state (the obvious) of what self care is NOT:


- Watching mindless TV to 'zone out' (sorry, but you were never in the 'zone' to begin with).


- Treating yourself to junk-food, pizza, thickshake, then cake (hey, you deserve it!... Not.)


- Having a bender with your friends (the only thing you'll be "letting lose" is your reputation. People notice).


You and I both know that self-care means taking the time to nourish yourself, so that you can show up in your best way for others. You know what floats your boat. Just please now etch out the time to do more of it. Your friends need you to be happy, simple.


Here are some of my faves:


- Regressing into my 80's world of movies, music, and other nostalgia that reminds me of a simpler (and daggier) time .


- Aromatherapy baby. Lavender still rocks. As does Geranium and Clary Sage.


- Jogging with my super-loaded 'pod


- The OCEAN. 'Nuff said.


- Reading, writing, collaging...


What are some of your fail proof self-care delights? What do you wish you did more of? Do you think self-care is selfish?


Share Share Share (how selfless is that ?! ;))

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