Self-Care is NOT Selfish!
Welcome to our final video in the “Mind Game” series. Today we’re looking at the belief that self care is selfish. Let’s look at the accusation of selfishness objectively. If someone is calling you selfish because you’re putting your needs before theirs, it is most likely because they would rather you put their needs before yours.
Which means that person is not taking care of their own needs, but are rather looking to you to take care of them. They’re feeling impoverished or empty, and they’re blaming you for it. That accusation comes from this cultural misunderstanding that tells us that taking care of ourselves is vice, but taking care of others is virtue.
Nobody Get What They Need – How Is That Better?
We have created a virtue system in which it is least likely than anyone’s ever going to get their needs met! As an individual only you know what you really need, when you need it, and how to make it happen for yourself. If you are not taking care of yourself, and you’re waiting for somebody else to take care of you, not only are you setting that person up to fail, because they just don’t have the right knowledge and the right access they need. You’re also you’re setting yourself up to feel kind of bitter and powerless in the world, because you’re not getting your needs met.
There’s Gotta Be a Better Way
Clearly the best option is for all of us as individuals to take responsibility for self-care, for staying in touch with our own bodies our own minds our own hearts our own souls, and really making choices that feel correct for us. We make choices that nurture us, that give us joy, that give us challenge and that really match our calling. We do this by taking seriously our own inner wisdom.
When we are willing to make ourselves a priority we do not become less connected to other people. We don’t become self-centered. Instead we are becoming the most vibrant, most excited, most gifted versions of ourselves. Now we’re able to go into the world with real abundance, and meet people on that level. Our connection isn’t based on codependence, in which we’re serving somebody or taking care of them. This connection is between two powerful beings celebrating life together.
Transforming the World with Self-Care
I believe that, as we move deeper into the responsibility of self-care, we are actually elevating the people around us. It reminds me of the psychological concept of Systems Theory. Systems Theory would say that human beings form communities that behave like systems. Individuals in a system are all connected together. So if one person changes something, the whole system will change too, because of that connection.
If a person in a system decides they’re going to start taking seriously the responsibility of self-care, they will start moving in that direction. Suddenly the whole system has to move! Everyone in that system is now challenged to grow in their own self-care.
Pushback: “You’re Being Selfish!”
That’s not to say that people always receive the challenge willingly. In fact systems are notorious for resisting change. When one person in a system begins to change, the system will try to figure out a way to sabotage that movement, and get them back where they were. This is when you are likely to be called selfish, for example, because if they can convince you that you’re selfish you’ll curb your behavior and go back to “normal.” It’s important to be prepared for this attempt at sabotage – not because the people in your system are mean-spirited but because they are feeling discomfort in the new challenge.
At the beginning of any change, it’s important that you recognize the difference between discomfort people feel because they’re being challenged and are growing, and pain they are feeling because you are damaging them. You are not damaging anybody by taking care of yourself. You’re not weakening anybody by making yourself stronger.
Life is NOT a Zero-Sum Game
That belief that you hurt others by taking care of yourself comes from the very limited perspective of the mental energy field. The mental energy field sees the universe as finite and resources are limited If I have more, you must have less. If I am healthier, you’re getting weaker. But we are not creatures limited to the mental energy field.
We are creatures who are surrounded and encapsulated by the spiritual energy field, in which we have unlimited creative potential. We have the potential to create abundance, to expand and to grow. The spiritual energy field connects us cosmically with All That Is. So what is true in a Systems Theory model of a family, for example, is multiplied times infinity with the spiritual energy field. If you are choosing to use self-care as a way of nurturing your growth and expansion, and you’re creating abundance, you are not only influencing your system that you’re connected to on this physical plane. You are actually expanding and enriching the entire cosmos. The whole universe is following you into greater and greater abundance.
The Real Virtue
That means that the greatest virtue you can practice actually is self-care! I would also suggest that one of the more selfish things you can do is to feel called to create abundance and not do it – because it’s easier stay where you are and let people like you for not making any waves. Choosing that because it’s comfortable, and not creating the abundance of which you are capable, actually seems more selfish to me.
So that’s my contribution for today! Please feel free to write your own responses at the bottom of the page. I would love to hear your perspective. I invite you to join me next week when I start our next video series which is called “People Problems.”