The idea of turning your attention on yourself first has such a bad rap, as if sacrifice is so godly and good. We’ve been taught this idea since the time we were little. We’re made to feel guilty if, heaven forbid, we say no to someone because we need some down time to rest.
All this does is exhaust you and make you feel resentful.
While some men may hear this, women get pounded with the messages: “be a good girl, be a good person, give, give, give, don’t be selfish, it’s better to give than receive.” Basically, give until you have nothing left to give- then you are saintly.
But are you really? Personally, I think then you are depleted, bitter, and angry, and you have no inner serenity. Especially when you give out of a sense of duty and obligation.
I was talking to a client recently and helped her to shift perspective on the idea of being self-centered. What if instead of it being a bad thing, we view it as Self centered; meaning centered into your Self?
When you can pull your energy into your core, into the center of you, and respond to and move about your day from there, then you can be much more present and empowered. The opposite of that is feeling scattered and at the effect of everything/everyone around you.
To take it a step further, centering into yourSelf means self-care is your priority. You put the oxygen mask on first before helping others.
I was sharing this concept with my friend Holly who added that the capital “S” self is the more of you; meaning the greater, expansive, soul you, while the lower case “s” in self-centered is the ego self.
I find that if I take care of my needs first, then I am of better assistance/service to others. I’ve spent decades doing the opposite and it was not good for my health- emotional or physical- or for my peace of mind.
Because I’m human and not perfect, (Whaaaaat?!) sometimes I fall into old habits of accommodating. When that happens, the sooner I catch it, the more quickly I can rectify and change it. Forgiveness is key during those times, not self-judgment. That’s more lower case “s.”
Yes, some people may get mad at you. Some people may say you’re mean, uncaring, or the dreaded word - selfish - for not helping them/responding to them immediately. To that I say, too bad. That’s their perspective. You know the truth of yourSelf and what you need. Would you rather have boundaries and be healthy or have everyone think you’re so good and nice, and be completely depleted?
It’s OK not to be liked sometimes. It’s more than OK to say no. If you don’t put yourself first, who will?
Right now, put both hands over your heart, bring all your energy and awareness into that space, and say, “I love you Self. I love mySelf.” Feel into the space of Self-love. Center yourSelf into your heart. Then ask what you need in this moment, and give it to yourSelf.
The more you honor your wants and needs first, the more others will honor what you say as well because you’re in integrity with yourself. Do this daily and you will become unstoppable because you will be so rooted and strongly centered in your Self, that you’ll more fully embody your value, your confidence, and the fact that you really do matter. Because by the way, you most certainly do.
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!