Why must self care come first for me?
Because the opposite to self care is self neglect. And trust me, I’ve lived in both worlds and know full well which one I prefer. This topic is near and dear to my heart because for decades I neglected myself to the point of emotional self harm. And trust me, it ain’t pretty, or easy to recover from.
Growing up being told to put yourself last, always consider others first, make sure that everyone else is happy even if it’s to your detriment was something most baby boomers were taught. In some respects I can see the value in selfless behaviour. But not if it means you pay a higher cost for it. It is NOT noble to be a martyr and I dare say if we could speak to martyrs today, they would agree. To thrive and not just survive in this world we must take good care of ourselves, or at the least, better care of ourselves.
I look at our three adult children and while I can see many good morals, ethics and values we have instilled in them, I see the flaws as well. They didn’t grow up seeing their parents well rested and relaxed. They have seen us both work ourselves into the ground. And for what? To have the security of a roof over our heads and a few creature comforts. But at what cost? We lost many opportunities to build happy memories as we tried to build a better life. A better life where we had a house to call home and some stuff to fill it with. Neither my husband or I were equipped to be emotionally stable parents. Shit, we were still kids ourselves trying to figure out how to live as grown ups while raising babies.
Now that we are grandparents we see it all so differently. If we could of have stopped, slowed down, had more fun, lightened up and loved ourselves more, stopped worrying about money and started living for the moment our lives would have been very different. But it is was it is. And all we can hope for is that our kids can teach their kids better ways.
Our lives are nothing but opportunities to live, learn and leave our mark on the world. And that’s why self care must come first for me. The more I take better care of me, the better I feel about myself. The better I feel about myself, the better I am able to love and serve. And the better I am able to love and serve the better my world is.
Don’t get me wrong though! I still suck at self care. I still have to force myself to give myself permission to rest even though I know I have a chronic illness. I still feel guilty for stopping and doing ‘nothing’. I still flinch when I get to breaking point of weariness and wonder how I let that happen all over again.
And then I stop and remind myself of how far I have come. It’s only 7 years since I faced death. Recovering from chronic neglect and living with chronic illness hasn’t been easy. But every day I strive to find something to be grateful for. Even on those days when I feel like I just want to give up, I give thanks for the many blessings in my life, and continue to give myself permission to get better at self care.
Feel free to steal this quote and make it your mantra. And if you would like to learn more about self care, go check out our upcoming Self Care Quest starting 19th September. We’ve also got a free webinar happening Sunday 4th September 8pm AEST. Hit me up if you’d like the link to join us!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Self Care Quest
If you enjoyed this blog, you will want to find out more about our upcoming Self Care Quest.
We are taking applications now as there are limited spaces. Join us on a free webinar Sunday 4th September 8pm AEST to hear all about it and have a chance to sit in the hot seat!