Daily Archives: April 22, 2015

Self-Care as a Priority

I like to remind myself every few days what I selected for a theme for the A to Z Blog Challenge. I went back and read my “A” post, which explained my choice of Acceptance as a theme. I had decided on my post titles for each of the 26 days, although I have changed a few as I have gone along. (But I accept that. :-))

Today I’m writing about self-care and sacrifice. The process of accepting the validity of self-care has been a long, slow process. I refer often to the religious upbringing I received as a child because it was so impactful on my belief system and has been a long time being revised.

What I first learned was that I was selfish from the get-go, always and without exception. Therefore, I spent many years refusing to allow myself to want or need anything since I made the connection that wanting and needing were selfish. It was *always* the better choice to meet someone else’s needs (and wants, if I am honest).

When I first heard the phrase self-care, I peered at it through narrowed, suspicious eyes, my dukes up, ready to punch its lights out. I thought it might be a trick, a way to get me to be selfish. I saw the word “self” in there, didn’t I.

Eventually, I came to understand and accept the idea that there’s a reason why the flight attendants tell us to put on our own oxygen mask before we put the mask on the child next to us. We are much more equipped to take the best care of someone else when we have taken the best care of ourselves first.

I have seen this idea put into play by different people and I have had to polish it to its own shine for me. I haven’t yet come to believe that I should put myself first, no matter what, and I don’t know that I ever will. I tend not to see the concept in a hierarchy. It’s more an idea for how to treat myself, how to take care of something that is worth taking care of.

As a person who cares about giving to others, I will always look to balance self-care with being aware and caring toward those around me. Taking care of myself means that, even in caring for someone else, I am as consistent as possible between the inner me and the outer me, the private me and the public me, the needing-courage me, and the courageous me.

Take good care of yourselves, readers.