I was talking with someone the other day about self care and describing how self care really lets you connect with those around you because there is clarity about what you want, what you need, and what feels good for you. She said something interesting. She said, “Well I think I am too focused on me. I see myself being hurt by everyone around me, all the time. I feel like I am always thinking about myself. I don’t understand.” What an honest statement. I thought it might be a cool topic to discuss.
Self care comes from within. Self care is the practice of knowing and believing that you are worthy, valuable, deserving, with honor, loved, and treating yourself as such…so that others see, experience, know, and value you as you value you. Self care says, “I see me with value and honor, and because I see me that way, I see you that way, and I want you to see you that way, as well.” Self care presents yourself in a way that influences connection, relationship, mutuality, because it takes away the need for others to “figure you out”, to defend from your “power”, to protect themselves, to play a guessing game of – how to relate to you or – what are you wanting/needing. In a funny way, self care is just as honoring of those around you as it is of honoring yourself.
Selfishness comes from perception or energy of feeling: less than; not trusting others; not knowing you are loved; not knowing you are ok; seeing yourself as different, and therefore having to “fight” for visibility, attention, and love. Selfishness is protective in an unhealthy way. The truth though, I think, is that selfishness is really not so much about others’ perceptions and relationships in your life, as it is more about the intra-relationships inside you…the perception between feelings inside, ego states, however, you want to say it. Selfishness is a battle within. One part of you doesn’t trust self or others so it commands protection, another part of you wants connection, so the focus in the world is so often defensive. The world sees you as – “see me, pay attention to me, [jumping up and down – then defeated when it doesn’t happen] I am here,” and “don’t pay attention to me, I am not good enough, I am wishy-washy, I don’t trust me, therefore I don’t trust/like you”. Selfishness gives out mixed, confusing signals, and consumes so much energy in self, as well as in others around you.
Well, that was a heavy subject. This integrative thought is contemplative. Remember, it is not about arrival, it is about practice. Does it mean that if we have better self care, we won’t ever be selfish? I don’t think so…but if we practice self care, then our true self continues to show from within, we have self honor, and others around us will see us as worthy of honor as well…and if they don’t, it won’t matter (smile).