Friday, March 13, 2015

The Cost of Putting Others First

What do you think of when you hear the words self care? I believe it is a misunderstood concept, and have recently learned just how important self care is.

There’s been a long-held belief that people are worthy of respect when they put others before themselves. People have often evaluated their own worth (and the degree to which they deserve value in society) by their ability to contribute and place the needs of others before themselves.

Self-care is a touchy subject. That’s because our society largely views self-care as selfish, lazy and overly indulgent. Yet, it’s anything but. Taking good care of yourself not only makes your life more fulfilling and contributes to your well-being, but it also extends to others.

This became crystal clear to me in my own life when I missed out on a chance to be part of a wonderful event. This seminar is put on by someone who I hold in high esteem and I was so excited to serve and be part of an amazing community that is near and dear to my heart. But because I had been putting myself last and not taking care of my needs I fell into a depression. By the time the event came around I was in no shape to show up and serve. My fear of being viewed as selfish along with my false belief that people are worthy of respect when they put others before themselves, cost me not only my emotional health but also missing out on an opportunity that I had been looking forward to for several months. What have you missed out on by neglecting yourself?

We can only maintain physical health and emotional health when self-care is a priority. When we take responsibility for ourselves, making sure that our needs are taken care of,  we come to the world as the best version of ourselves; fully nourished on all levels and ready to nourish those around us.

In fact, giving yourself permission to take care of you is probably the best thing you can do for the people in your life. Not only will you be happier and healthier, but those around you will be, too.

The lesson I learned, is that through self-care we become conscious and conscientious people. We tell the truth. We make choices from a place of love and compassion instead of guilt and obligation.

I am also learning that self-care takes practice. At first it might seem awkward to say no to something or someone. At first, you might feel guilty for taking time for yourself. But with practice, it’ll become more natural and automatic. And you’ll notice that you feel a whole lot more fulfilled.

Are you ready to experience the benefits of self-care?

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