Self-less, Selfish and "For Self"
"Selfishness is not living as one wishes, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live"
As a therapist, I have heard many say that taking care of oneself feels selfish. We are often taught to put others first, to put one's own needs and desires ahead of others first, to put one's own needs and desires last, and to only receive whatever remnants of time and care that may be left after serving everyone else. However, I have also witnessed many who enter my office feeling completely depleted by their own giving, unfulfilled by their roles, and resentful that their own needs have been unmet, often by those whom they love and serve most.
Part of taking care of yourself is to truly know your own needs. In order to do so, you must know the difference between being self-less, selfish and "for self".
Selflessness generally means that a person exhibits no concern for oneself, while selfishness pertains to a concern primarily only for oneself. To many, there is no in-between. However there is an in-between. "For self" provides the middle ground between the two and is a much deeper understanding of what one need as they strive for balance, fulfillment and radiant health.
I look at self care as exercising the personal and deep knowledge of what one needs and desires and the subsequent striving to create a life that provides for and sustains these. Although some may think that fulfilling one's own needs and desires is a selfish task, self care, in fact, is a process of maintaining and restoring oneself so that we can all working unison to provide for the needs and desires of one another. Caring for self helps you also care for all others. Self-care is not a selfish act, in fact, quite the contrary.
Some questions to leave you with:
What do you do "for self"? What do you do to care of you? If you can't think of anything, where can you start?
Are you too selfless and burning out?
Are there things you used to do for yourself but haven't done them in a long time? What are they?
Explore the idea of bringing a little self care into your life and see how your life can improve!
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Licensed counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.