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Why Are You So Selfish?

Have you ever; been told you are selfish, said someone was selfish, or made a choice (not in your best interest) because you feared being labeled as selfish?
I have (in the past) called or at least thought that quite a few people I encountered were just that. Selfish. At times I was correct…sometimes not.
The word selfish is defined as “being primarily concerned with one’s own interest regardless of others or caring only for oneself”.
So does caring for oneself equate to being selfish? NO.

Self-care is of paramount importance if one values others and the Giver of life.
Taking deliberate action to care for all the components of ones well-being namely; physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual is the definition of self-care. Mind – Body – Spirit…all three form the SELF.
As obvious as the need for self-care appears to be, we are woefully deficient when it comes to actually caring for ourself. Often times we use the example of the instructions given by flight attendants to “place the mask on your face before helping someone else” to show that we understand the need to care for SELF. If however, one knows what to do and does not do it, where is the benefit?
Sure, we do get conflicting directions from the external world as the teaching also is that caring for self or putting oneSELF first is somehow ungodly/wrong. Keep in mind the definition of “selfish” and compare that with the definition of “self-care”, now ask yourself if deliberately caring for YOU – all of you, is honouring or dishonouring your Life-giver.

Seven years ago my birth mother suffered a stroke. I saw a once vibrant “force of nature” who would spend her days working and caring for all (but herself) disappear. Now she spends her days looking….barely able to walk…a shell of who she was.
A few years ago I looked in her face and saw ME. The me I was on the path to becoming if I continued to neglect my SELF-CARE. I am known for caring for others, it’s what I do. It comes naturally for me to care for others…in fact it gives me Life.
I still actively care for others BUT not at the expense of mySELF.

My mom wasn’t taught self -care, neither was her mom before, nor before her. Her illness was my teacher.
Now I know that a Life of Service begins with Service to SELF.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below or email me at curline@designingyourpath.com.
Additionally, if you would love support in learning and practicing the art of self-care I have programs that can be tailor-made to fit your specific needs of caring for YOUR mind – body – spirit. The total YOU.

Comments 15

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      Author

      Hi Racquel. I’m curious to know why you “do not even consider” self-care. Is fear of being judged at the source?

  1. Absolutely! You can’t take care of others if you are running on empty. To look after others and have a great impact on others, you need to take care of yourself first. Spot on Curline!

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      Author
  2. Facts!!. I actually learnt this from you. If a person isn’t healthy in all aspects of their being, it is hard and sometimes impossible to help others. So taking care of oneself is of utmost importance… Keep up the good job!

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      Author
  3. Curline, thank for this gentle reminder. Growing up in a large family and being a big sister, the only thing you know is caring for everyone else and you often forget about “self”. Even as an adult I still find that this is my modus oporandi and I often feel guilty when I take care of me, knowing the many needs of other family members and thinking that their needs are greater. Thank you for showing me that caring about “self” is not selfish.

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      Author

      You are welcome Cery. Your’s is a situation I can relate to all too well. It is written that “there is more happiness in giving than in receiving”, so start giving to yourself in a guilt-free way and pay attention to the ripple effects. A sobering reminder for us is that without SELF CARE, we will not be around to care for the needs of those we love and care about.

  4. I love this piece. I am starting to take care of me. I’m not concerned so much now about what people think or label me as. Once there is self care, peace of mind follows and the greater impact you can have on those around you.

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      Author

      I’m happy for you Roxanne 🙂
      I love this line “once there is self care, peace of mind follows and the greater impact you can have on those around you”.
      “To YOUR self be true, and thou canst be false to anyone”.

  5. As a mother and wife I can definitely relate to this story. It is a great reminder and lesson to start taking care of myself and not feel bad about it.

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  6. I 100% agree that we should practice self care. For centuries, women have been taught to put the family needs ahead of our own. If we did something for ourselves, we were judged as selfish and told we were not good mothers or wives. If we do not take care of ourselves, how are we at our best to be able to take care of others?

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      Author

      That is a question for us all to ponder Leisha. We are in the position to have a new conversation regarding self-care. By practicing and teaching self-care we have the opportunity to change that which we have been taught for centuries.

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