Is Self-Care Selfish?

Jul 25, 2019

Dear Imaginative Woman,

I'm watching season 4 of Queer Eye this week, and I've been a blubbering mess through each episode. They get me every time!!

I was particularly struck by the first episode, where the Fab 5 made over a high school teacher.

This teacher had devoted her life to the service of others for over 30 years.

She worked late into the night, every night, never taking time for vacations, deep rest, or self-care.

In the episode she said she believed any time spent thinking about herself was selfish.

She was taught in her family and culture of origin that the only way to be not selfish was to be of service to others 100% of the time.

  

This comment struck me deeply, because I love teaching my clients how to nourish their own souls so they can live the lives they're meant to live.

My clients often have the same worries as the school teacher on Queer Eye.

When I ask them to set aside small amounts of time to take care of themselves, they worry it's selfish and neglectful of their families or their work.

It's hard for them to set aside even just 10 minutes of self-care a day.

If you can relate to this, then I want to share a part of my new online course with you where I talk about how to deal with this type of guilt.

 

From "Find Your True Self Again":

"The truth of the matter is you don't want to neglect your people or your responsibilities. It's important to you, and there's nothing wrong with that.

So, I'm not going to pretend it should be super easy to do self-care or that there's something wrong with you if you feel guilty about it.

This isn't about not feeling what you feel or about being ashamed of your guilt.

This is about acknowledging what's true.

If guilt has come up for you when you spend time taking care of yourself, then what's true is that you feel guilty. That's normal.

The question is, what do you do about it?

Here's my suggestion:

When guilt comes up any time you want to take care of yourself, or you start thinking you are being neglectful of others by doing self-care, ask this question:

In what ways am I taking care of others, my work, or the world around me when I am taking care of myself?

You might have your own answers that automatically pop up, but if you don't, let me offer you a few:

  • Others: By taking care of yourself, you are being a power of example to others in your life. If what you want for others is for them to feel empowered, nourished, and whole, then taking care of yourself is showing them how it's done. You're being an amazing teacher!!
  • Work: By taking care of yourself, you are fueling yourself for continued action. If you don't take a rest, you could end up in a massive burnout where you no longer have the energy to meet any of your responsibilities. Refueling everyday is the best defense against burnout.
  • World: You are part of the world, so by creating more peace within yourself you are, in fact, creating more peace in the world. Plus, when you connect to your True Self, you will have access to the part of you that knows your purpose. This can help guide you to the work you are meant to do, and my hunch is it will probably be something to make the world a better place!

If you ever feel guilty setting aside time to take care of yourself, ask yourself how you are taking care of others, your work, or the world by doing self-care.

Let yourself see the freedom and beauty you get to give to the world when you nourish your own soul."

 

I firmly believe self-care and personal development are acts of generosity, may you claim this generosity for yourself so you can begin creating the life you are meant to  live.

Love,

Emma


P.S. If you'd like to learn how to set aside time for you own care, by doing a simple, structured, easy-to-follow course, then it's time to sign up for Find Your True Self Again. This is a 5 week self-paced online course where you will remember who you are, so when it's time to make big decisions about your career, you'll know what you want to do.

P.P.S. If you're wondering if this course is right for you, you can get complimentary access to the first week to try it out!! Go here to try the first week of Find Your True Self Again

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