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.
In 2008 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.