What does that mean?
Not to be confused with "Selfish" or "Self Centered".
Self Care by definition: In health care, self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.
Now what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that I only need to focus on myself????? Well let me discuss my journey with Self-Care.
I consider myself to be a good person, someone who has integrity and cares for people deeply. I give as much as I can to support personal goals and aspirations with family and friends. The best part about giving freely is knowing that you don't want anything in return. However when is giving too much? My journey with learning Self Care began when I learned to say "NO" without guilt and meaning it . For so long in my life, I was a YES WOMAN, I thought that by saying "yes" all the time or agreeing with people that it would make me appear more friendly. Less confrontation meant less stress right? NOOOOOOO , It actually turned out to be the total opposite The more i told people yes, they became more selfish and bossy. So much so, that they truly wouldn't even want me to state my own opinion All they wanted to do was take and not give at all. I found this discovery very shocking. So you can have someones time, attention, support and devotion, yet your still not happy. the logic in that still confuses me till this day.
In my adult years, I was connected to many selfish people and didn't realize it until I had to focus only on myself to better my life for my child, or just take time to regroup as life kept coming at me hard and fast! I remember a time where i really needed to disconnect from everything because William was having a hard time in school and it was emotionally taking me some whereA else. I was a single autism mom and his success meant the world to me. I recall getting into a full out shouting match because I couldn't cater to this individuals needs and they threw in my face that they needed me. I replied " but what about my child? what about me and my health? At what point is it ok to just say I need to focus only on me right now. That my friends, is where self care began for me. I literally learned what it meant to say NO and mean it in that very conversation. Though I loved this person very much and had a lot of respect for them, unfortunately they thought that my relationship with them, meant more than my relationship with my child or myself. Though it was a very unrealistic, and tough conversation to have with that person, I learned that it was important for me to speak up about my true feelings.
Now I don't want to come off selfish, I truly am not. I have great friends and family and I have stopped in the middle of my tracks to take phone calls and make sure they are ok. However , at the same time, I had to learn how to balance what is enough and too much for me. When I find that I need time for me ( no matter what it may be), I take it. I never did that previously. If anyone needed me, I jumped to their rescue. The problem with that is, once YOU have solved their issues they will be fine, go on about their lives until the next problem arrises; and that one day you can't help and be available, what do you think will happen? They will survive!!!! I promise they will , and they will figure it out on their own. At one point, I was always available for people, but last year reminded me that I am no good to anyone if I can't be available and practice safe care for myself! That includes over all care... Staying positive, mind, body and spirit. Staying focused on what matters and manifesting the good in our lives instead of the bad. When we constantly listen to everyone else's problems and don't focus on our own, all we are doing is complaining to each other about things that we have the power to change.
I noticed that over the past year as my health declined, so did my connections to some people who were super dependent on me. From this experience, just like many of my trials, they allowed me to get to know myself better. What I also is, I don't over extend myself as much anymore. I give realistic offers of what I can actually afford to offer people. I don't like to mislead people into believing that I am something that Im not. I am a mother of two boys and a entrepreneur. Sometimes that alone doesn't include extras or availability for anything or anyone, but in order to be the best partner, mother , sister, friend and support others like i want to, I have to choice ME! And guess what ??? Its ok, it is totally ok to choose you, when you have nothing else to give! Falling in love with self doesn't exclude other people from receiving the love we have to offer. It only means that self care has to be prioritized as well.