Taking Care of Yourself Is Not Selfish

The line between self-care and self-centeredness is a thin line.  We are part of the narrative.  We are not the narrative.

I’ve got some heat lately folks for talking about “Me” in a way that excludes the import of “You.”  How does anyone talk about the importance of the self without sounding seriously arrogant, disinterested in others, egocentric, ungrateful and rude?  Clearly it’s a learning process.  That’s something of what I’m hoping will evolve this year as we journey together.  Please let me know what you think on this subject.

I was very excited about having a morning to myself today and had built up a storybook page turning space of time for me.  However my night went bad, and like opening the oven door too soon with the bread still rising, I just didn’t get up well.  Partly in denial that the day was already slipping away, I kept going towards my hopes.  The clock sped up and I finally got out the door with the kids buckled to where they needed to go.  And then I realized I forgot my computer and phone.  Not so easy to work without those.

I live in the hills and although I’m not far from street lights and normal trafficked buildings, getting between me and them takes me through many blind 25 mph corners, steep hills over narrow roads.  Today I felt like I got caught in those hills.  My mom-van felt off-balance and the tight corners treated my tires cruelly.  I went back home to get my computer and back down to town finally.

I had great intentions for today.  However, I got stuck and stuck again.  That is what it can be like when we try to treat ourselves well.  It can feel like the roads swallow us up and we just can’t get there.

As my husband says, “That’s how it rolls!”

Question:  How do you see self-care differently from self-centeredness?  Please tell me your story of friendship.

Self-Care Tip #77 – Don’t get confused.  Taking care of yourself is not selfish.  Be a friend to yourself.

10 thoughts on “Taking Care of Yourself Is Not Selfish

  1. I found this on the internet.

    Common Traits Of The Self-Centered Person
    Recognize And Deal With Self-Centered People
    By Tina Vasquez
    Published January 09, 2008
    “Self caring means that you have concern for others, but not at the expense of yourself”.
    “Self-centered people, on the other hand, don’t bother to take the time to understand another person’s point-of-view or feelings”.
    You may qualify on the first point. I do not know. I suspect you do give at the expense of yourself.
    On the second, NOPE! Does being a friend to yourself require us to think but not express the positive things we accomplish out loud in any measure? I am vocal and vocal things just stick better. Just the fact that you asked the question shows your concern about how others feel when they hear you.
    Clearly The Day told you to rest more. You may not have wanted to listen to its advice. Inaudible listening skills?
    What would have happened had you been late today? Was it the lateness or perception of self -failure that possessed the greater consequence? How did those around you perceive it? A failure of Mom or was it just an unavoidable life event? How should one act in that case?
    A trainer once told me if you overeat “get over it, forgive yourself, and get on a treadmill ASAP”
    Let me see, a working mom with young children, deadlines, a blog to write. Give yourself a break!
    This is kind of fun, giving you the advice
    By the way, how much credibility does the person who gave you the heat have?
    Do you agree?

    • richard, u r the best sort of person! thank u for reading and commenting. thank u for sharing that part of u that makes the rest of us feel relaxed, and nearly perfect. u are part magician apparently. I’m going to have to put that quote on my business card “if you overeat ‘get over it, forgive yourself, and get on a treadmill ASAP.” nice. keep on Richard!

  2. Taking care of our selves, self-care, is the first step in being able even to have a viable “self” to give to others. My selfhood is far from “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” when I do not allot time to rejuvenate; consequently, my husband and children get a less effective, less patient form of myself when that time is scarce. They deserve better than that, and I do, too.

    Although I am a person who feels guilty, probably irrationally, about taking time for myself away from my family, I nonetheless recognize how important it is to do in order to be able to present my best and most energetic self to them.

    It just so happens that we recently began a “star-chart” program of reward for behavior with our eldest child. Corresponding with this current set of behaviors and star-earning opportunities, we are working on a focused character trait theme, which we call the heart-attitudes. Heart-attitude #1 is “KINDNESS.” We made a KINDESS poster that includes examples of how to be kind and who to be kind to: 1) your mommy and daddy; 2) your brother; 3) to other people; and 4) to yourself. We are trying to teach her that being kind toward others does not exclude being kind to yourself, as well. It is important to have that part of self-care in balance.

    I, too, wonder about the source of the heat you’ve been taking. Is this heat coming from a person in balance with self?

  3. I’ve been living along these lines: If I take care of myself, no one else has to. If I take responsibility for my joy, then I’m not sulking around others trying to get attention. I believe that if I’m NOT taking care of myself and feeling joy, then that IS self-centered because then, I’m just gonna put the job on someone else ( in one manipulative way or another). What can be more self-centered than expecting someone else to do for me what I refuse to do for myself (as in expecting someone else to make me happy, give me free time, tell me my worth, etc)
    Trust me, this is all a learning process for me as well. Just over these past few months have I learned to say no even.
    Great post, really got me thinking!

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