Many times I feel like a stranger because I don’t want to do what they want.
Pilot was perplexed and sad.
This is familiar to me. There are lots of these times. When I was a kid I didn’t know to call feeling like a stranger, “normal.” I didn’t know I wasn’t alone. I thought feeling like a stranger was qualified bad. In the older Me, part of Me knows. The rest of Me is conflicted.
Talking about self-care is like that sometimes. I don’t know yet how to consistently teach others without hurting them.
Self-care is not selfish, I say, but it doesn’t make sense.
They hear me and the long anticipated enemy they knew would come suddenly wears my face and uses my mouth and voice. People look at me in horror. I watch their faces blanch and despair, as if they know they are holding a fork and knife to defend against magic and they will die a martyr’s death.
No. It’s not like that, I say.
But they don’t hear more. They crouch in a thicket.
Researcher, Jennifer Walters, describes how social influences such as team-based competition leads to a healthier BMI (basal metabolic index) and weight loss. We may say, “Um, yah!?!” as if everyone knows that from Biggest Loser. But just like holding an apple looks like crunchy food to Mary, John see’s a projectile.
It must be researched. It must be said.
We don’t believe that taking care of Me is selfless. We are scared. To love ourselves means being alone and feeling the stranger. Taking care of others “first” intuitively tells us that we are connected and right.
I argue that this intuition is not our friend in some cases. Cases, when we let fear of being alone, fear of being the stranger, keep us from taking care of Me. At some point in the time line of selflessness to selfishness we find that we cannot. We have ruined and thereafter cannot care, serve or do much for anyone but take. Now we, without getting consent from those same others, are in a place of being served. We didn’t ask our loved one(s.)
Would you like to take care of my wasted self?
We didn’t ask if it was ok with them. To answer their wants before our needs is an exchange for them taking care of our needs later when we cannot. But we didn’t ask. If they knew we were taking care of their wants before our needs or wants, if we knew, would we un-crouch, step out, hear and consider? However, we responded before we felt alone. We gave before we felt the stranger. We didn’t ask, we didn’t consider and now we cannot.
Growing healthy involves the sometimes happy journey towards a knowing that giving to self long enough becomes someone who gives to others; long enough a stranger to grow familiar. And it isn’t selfish.
Question: How does becoming your own friend separate you from those you want close? How do you survive feeling alone long enough to know that you are not? When the stranger becomes familiar, does it make that time and difficulty worthwhile? Please tell me your story.
Self-Care Tip – Remember, self-care is not selfish, even when you feel alone.
- If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself Someone Else Will (friendtoyourself.com)
- Take Care of Yourself And You Will Be Taking Care of Others – “Care-Givers” (friendtoyourself.com)
- Bert’s therapy: Selfish (monkeytraps.wordpress.com)
- Selfless or selfish? (datingworldmap.wordpress.com)
- Study Finds Weight Loss Can Be Contagious (medicalnewstoday.com)