Self Care isn’t Selfish, Written by Amanda Leigh
Self-Care. It’s a Buzz word. #SelfCare. #SelfCareSunday. #SelfCareSelfie. You name it, there is a hash tag for it. But does anyone even know what ‘self-care’ means?
Self-care is more than getting a pedicure, although, I need those too – I live in California so “suns out, toes out” is the norm.
Self-care is deeper than that. It is about deep understanding and care for…you guessed it, yourself. I am talking about care at a deep heart connected level.
Many women, Christian women in particular, feel guilty for anything regarding “the self”.
I get it. We grow up with selflessness being ingrained in us in the church. YES, I am wholeheartedly for serving, sacrificing, and being the hands and feet of Jesus but, hear me out.
Do you remember Mary and Martha ? Ya. Jesus basically said Martha needed to stop serving everyone and be present instead.
We can’t help others if we are drowning.
They even tell you this in every airline safety regulation video in the world. Before attempting to put on another’s oxygen mask, first put it on yourself.
I get it mama. If something is going down, my child is the first one I will reach for and give all my energy to protect, help and nurture. I am a single mama, so I understand how much energy goes into caring for our children. But, if I am passed out and can’t breathe- I can’t do that, can I?
Our best gift to our children, significant others, and God is to take care of our vessels, so we can better serve.
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.
There used to be a time when I felt guilty for receiving.
I was a co-dependent actually, and got my thrills off of managing others. Usually those who were pretty badly in need. Those behaviors came at the expense of my own health, happiness, and well-being. I was so consumed with those people I was caring for, I forgot to look at myself. I would take care of them, but then deep down resent it when that care was not given back to me. Real healthy, right?
Receiving is the way of the feminine.
It is important that we know how to receive at a deep level to keep attraction in our marriages. Men were made to provide, lead and give. And when we are so busy doing, and managing everyone we are not open or receptive to receiving. This business leaves no room for our husbands to give. We take away a man’s greatest joy and gift.
I fully support women being empowered, #ladyboss’s and all that, (heck I am a lady boss)! But, this world has twisted up our feminine and masculine dynamics. Dynamics that were created for us to have AMAZING relationships. Men are now made to be the enemy, and most women chop their men’s ‘you-know-whats’ off and keep them in their purse.
I have PLENTY to say on that, but since this is a post about self-care and not that, I will share this:
The level at which we are comfortable receiving is the level we are giving to ourselves.
We often hold others to higher expectations than we even rise to ourselves, and then we are disappointed, and punish them when they don’t show up better.
The level we are able to accept others is the level we first accept our self. If you are judgmental and critical of yourself, you can bet your beans others around you feel this from you too. Spoiler alert: this also doesn’t make for great relationships.
The second most important relationship after your relationship with God is the one with yourself.
Others may come and go in your life, but you will always be there. Wherever you go, there you are.
Your children are watching you. They are basing it all on you. Your daughters are learning about their own self-worth and how feminine they can or should be. Your sons are learning masculinity and how to treat a woman.
This relationship with yourself includes both practical physical care as well as a deep compassion for all the parts of yourself you would rather push away from. It took me years to learn this. What you resist, persists. I waged war with certain aspects of myself I wished would change. Or Go away.
Here’s the facts: God made me this way. And no, that doesn’t give me an excuse to stop seeking to grow. Instead, it provides an understanding who I am. It gives me the ability to sigh a deep sigh of relief, and snuggle into the comforts of knowing myself so well, and loving myself anyways. Remember, there’s a difference between growth and a constant disapproval of one self.
I do a visualization with my clients about inviting all the parts of themselves to the table, to stop resisting them and accept them instead. It is something I created years ago as I started to learn about healing all the parts of me. Only when we do this can true peace come.
As long as there is a war with in you, your body will bear the physical marks of war. This means health issues, gut issues, hormonal imbalance, mood issues, over reactions, comparison, jealousy, irritability with our kids, weight gain, bad skin, sleep issues, you name it. They are all connected.
What I am talking about here is more than just pedicures. It is finally being at rest within ourselves. It is a deep seeded compassion for even the most despicable of parts.
Self-worth is not earned, it is claimed. And no one else is going to claim it for you.
I encourage you to look for some ways to deepen your self-care this year. More than just baths and massages. Yes these help, but how about doing something specifically for you?
Many of the women I help have forgotten who they are. They have become consumed with the identity of being a mother, wife, business owner, employee, daughter or whatever other ‘hats’ they are wearing. Anything and everything but themselves. One woman I worked with used to love to play basketball. When we started working together she couldn’t remember the last time she played now that she was a mom. I encouraged her: Go. Go find a league. Go find a way. Make time for this thing you love once a week so you can recharge. So you can show up better. And you know what? She did.
Taking time for yourself gives you space to show up and be better.
The only reasons you don’t have this right now are either:
1. You are not making yourself a priority. How many of you make time to watch your favorite show, or scroll insta? Surely, you have time to do ONE thing a week that is just for you.
2. You haven’t set up proper boundaries to ensure you get it.
I promise you if you do make time and set boundaries, you will show up as a better mom, lover, friend, employee, etc.
Self-care is not selfish. It’s straight up survival, in fact, it’s ‘thrival’.
If you want to join me for a free challenge in Self-care for 10 days you can join my free Facebook group. I will guide you through a self-care challenge next week. Let me help you make yourself a priority. Click here.
You are loved.
Oh ya, go get yourself a pedicure too 😉