Despite the Meaning of the Word
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”
When we hear the word selfish, it often brings a negative feeling. And if you look at the definition, it means you are doing it at the expense of others.
I agree selfishness, at the expense of others (all the time), is bad. But I don’t agree that we should never be selfish. Because selfishness can also be a form of self-care and self-preservation.
If you are always full of narcissism and only caring about yourself, then that is quite different. But you need to be selfish from time to time. You need to be concerned with yourself and your time. Concentrating on your own pleasure is important to live a balanced life.
Because if you are constantly giving yourself away all the time, you will be miserable and spiteful of others. You will start to resent those around you. Finding a balance between selfishness and taking care of others is important.
But giving away all of YOU will wear you out. It will leave you in a place where you no longer want to help others. When you do that, you will meet the strict definition of selfish. Because your selfishness will be done without regard for others.
Many of you suppress your needs for what others want. But your needs are as important, if not more. Because if you don’t care for yourself, it is that much more difficult to care for others.
It’s self-care and self-preservation to take care of yourself occasionally. When you are maxed out because of work, taking care of your family, or allowing others to control your schedule, stress finds a way in. That stress can lead to all kinds of problems including anxiety, depression, and other physical and emotional illnesses.
That self-care is about setting boundaries with others and it allows you to have a say in your life. Being selfish on occasion is good for your mental and physical health. It allows you that energy to take care of not only your needs but also those around you.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy,
careenough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
– Jean Shinoda Bolen
I want you to know you are not being selfish when you take care of yourself. You are not being selfish when you take time for yourself. Doing what you want is important for a happy life.
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”
– Anna Taylor
So the next time you worry about taking some time for yourself, remember this:
I am being selfish so I can love.
I am being selfish so I can help others.
I am being selfish so I can be charitable.
I am being selfish so I can spend quality time with my family, my kids, and my friends.
I am being selfish so I can be a better partner, husband, wife, parent, etc.
It is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Being selfish and something else are not mutually exclusive.
So it’s time to be selfish. And no longer live life at the expense of yourself.