Today I turn 39 and I want to share something I learned in the last few years that has set me free:
SELF-CARE IS SELFISH
I know a lot of people try to chant the mantra and convince themselves and others that it isn’t, but the truth is if you aren’t currently prioritizing some aspect of your well-being it’s probably because you believe that taking a few hours to yourself or spending money on things that support you or bring joy WILL result in other people suffering.
I have lost track of the number of times my clients have willingly paid for their partners to get the professional emotional support they need, but feel guilty hiring their own Coach.
Or the parents who will spend 15 hours a week in the car and tens of thousands of dollars on activities for their children, but can't imagine spending a few hundred dollars and a couple hours a month getting a massage.
I know firsthand how hard it is to break from the social conventions that tell us that to suffer and deny ourselves for those we care about is love, and to prioritize ourselves above anyone else is selfish.
My own self-care (or what I now call self-investment) became pretty scare for a few years when my kids were really little.
But after becoming a Life Coach, I decided I need to really take this project more seriously and the first step towards it was washing and caring for my face twice a day.
At the time it felt uncomfortable to splurge on some fancy creams and serums, but what was even harder was getting 10 minutes alone in the bathroom morning and evening each day.
My kids, who were then used to 24 hour a day access and attention would cry for me. Sometimes one, sometimes both would crawl to the door and wail the entire time, twice a day, every day.
At first I tried telling myself it WAS NOT selfish of me to walk away from my two kids (and very capable partner) for 10 minutes. But the truth is I did feel selfish.
My brain would offer me fun thoughts like:
You are just choosing to make yourself unavailable while your kids want you.
What kind of mother lets her kids be in pain so she can wash her face?
You are prioritizing yourself over their feelings twice a day for something that you don't even "need"!
Steve has never owned or used face cream, let alone 5 different types of it.
You are so selfish!
And then one day, I answered myself:
"What if it is selfish and it's also ok?"
That response, felt real and loving and in that moment as I questioned the moral judgment I had been burning myself with, I was free.
And since I was no longer using my children and their experience to tell me if I was a good parent or not, I also set them free of that burden.
Here is why this matters for you:
I use the example of washing my face because its a simple and personal thing that other people might not even notice, but is a daily investment of time with myself (and I really do have nicer skin at 39 than I did when I was 29).
However even if that isn't your goal, I know there is something you want that you might not be giving yourself out of fear that it is "selfish".
There will be so many moments before the end of the year that your brain is going to tell you that other people deserve your output or effort for their happiness. Then it will turn right around and call you "selfish" at the first sign of you wanting something just for you that isn't a life or death matter.
In those moments, I hope you will question this illogical pattern and start to create a life where you can give from love, say no when you can't and trust yourself enough to prioritize what is truly important to you.
And if you know this has been a struggle for you, I hope you will be "selfish" enough to reach out and do a consultation so we can find the perfect program for you to create the love and success you want and deserve in 2022.
Book time to meet with me here