It is shocking that even in this day and age, self-care is considered selfish by many. This could not be further from the truth. There are many reasons why this is so, but we are going to look at two that I think we should consider. The first should be rather obvious. When you work on healing yourself, be that from a personal trauma, or just from the stress of daily life, you allow your best self to shine through. Why is this so important? You then become the best version of yourself. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others. Showing up to meet your friend for coffee when you are lacking sleep, barely able to concentrate on what they are saying and falling asleep when they are talking is not that great of a gift. Sure, it is great that you are spending time with them, but it is not quality time. Now, saying, “I am sorry I need to get some rest. How about meeting next week?” may seem selfish. If you show up next week and are able to not only to stay awake for their story about sick aunt Agnes, but offer valuable insight on their story as well, that is a far greater gift.
Bringing your best self to any situation is a great gift. It means you are being the best parent, the best friend and the best lover. Taking the time to heal and make sure you are able to share your gifts with those around you is not selfish at all. In fact, by taking the time to bring your best self, you are giving them a gift. You are giving them the best of you that you can.
The second reason that self-care is not selfish may be even more important. The knowledge you gain and are able to share. When you discover ways to heal yourself, you can pass those ways on to others. Maybe you are really busy and live a stressful life. You find ways to balance that stress and not get overwhelmed. How do you do that? Do you think there are other people who would like to know how to do that as well? I bet there are. Have you found a way to heal your soul after losing someone very close to you? Taking that time, and engaging in those practices, will allow you to help someone else heal too. That is one of the best things we can put out into the universe, to help others heal. If you rush through life, do not take time to heal yourself, it will not only cost you, but it will cost others. You will show up as only a shell of yourself. You will not learn any healing methods that work for you and may help others. To me, this is far more selfish than taking time for yourself.
Take time for that meditation or yoga retreat. If you need to say “No”, than do it. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It is actually one of the greatest gifts you can give to those around you and the world itself. Taking care of ourselves will allow us to share the best of who we are and every healing modality we learn. Self-care is not only care for ourselves, but it is one of the best things we can do to care for others.