Self Care vs. Selfishness

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Yup, this is a serious one, you guys.

I was at a bit of a loss in terms of what to make of my #AWordAWeek this time – care. And the more I think about it, the more of this keeps coming up. A realisation I had in a session recently.

For starters, I was completely sure that self care is one of those terms I didn’t relate to at all. Every time I’m asked to think about ‘self care’ I conjure up all these images of people advising others to love yourself, to discover your own joys, or just overall massive lectures on how to live and think. In fact, I’ve done this too to a lot of friends, but somehow I just couldn’t relate to it in a positive way. And even worse are all those self care practitioners who seem to think it’s all about treating yourself to a facial and pedicure in the name of self care. Self care is a beautiful and simple concept, and yet somewhere down the Instagram route, it’s become preachy and, dare I say it, almost fake.

So no, I declared, the term ‘self care’ is something I can’t relate to at all.

But then we talked more. And more. And came up with multiple instances in life where I had taken decisions for self preservation. Quitting a high paying corporate job that went against my core principles to save myself from a complete mental burnout. Refusing to fall to society’s expectations of having a child. Doing what I knew was right for me in multiple circumstances, even if it wasn’t right for others. And guess what came up as the term for it in my head – selfishness.

That’s when I realised that the world has a funny way of making you feel bad about taking care of yourself. So what if something is good for you. YOU are never their highest priority. And if YOU are your own highest priority, then how dare you be so selfish.

This might seem obvious as you read this, but when this hit me, it hit me hard. Because the amount of guilt and trauma latching onto each supposed ‘selfish’ act is enough to drown you at any point of time. I felt a sudden release inside me, of yet another label I was letting go.

So the next time someone calls you selfish, before you take it to your heart and register in your head, take a deep breath, sit back and think. Is it, really?

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4 thoughts on “Self Care vs. Selfishness

  1. Thank you. The nomenclature in my head went further back in time – self help. “Ugh, I don’t need that. Who are these people reading self help books. What good can come of it.”

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    1. Funny what weird blocks we build for ourselves, things that stop us from acknowledging the positives, or worse, feeling bad about things there is absolutely no reason to feel bad about.

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  2. Simple yet powerful words and I realise how you may not be the only one with the weird block in your head! Keep writing… Your words make me think more than I get to these days and for that I love you 😍

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