Giving Yourself Permission

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

“Selfishness is grossly underrated,” said a friend with two young kids, a demanding legal job, and a husband whose job keeps him on the road. I often hear, from women in particular, that it feels selfish to focus on their own needs. Is this you – feeling like taking meaningful care of your mind, body, and spirit is an indulgence?

We can ignore our own needs in so many different ways – waiting until we’re sick before resting, feeling compassion for others but not ourselves, feeling bad about wanting to do something just for us.

 

What Selfish Really Means

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines selfish as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.” The words “excessively”, “exclusively”, and “without regard for others” pop out to me. How about you?

Have you put off following through on that doctor’s visit for yourself because of the needs of others? Perhaps you want to establish a meditation practice to help increase your resiliency amidst life’s varying forces. Maybe you feel guilty about wanting more connection (without the kids).

If you have a habit of denying yourself opportunities to bring personal well-being and peace to yourself, can you say that the things you want to do fall in the category of “excessive”, “exclusive”, or “without regard for others”? Give it some thought. I’m guessing not.

 

Spending Time on You

What one thing can you do, however small it may be, to start meeting more of your own personal needs? How can you (and your loved ones) benefit? What support do you need to make it happen? Giving yourself permission to take that one small step can reduce the underlying resentment and stress that comes from denying yourself what your mind, body, or spirit are telling you you need.

 

Bottom line: You’re worth it! 🙂

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