It's Sunita here.
We live in an amazing time where we can access the latest research on pretty much any opinion, belief or statement we read. Blogs directly link us to articles that support their content.
This is not such a blog.
This is an article based on lived experience.
I became acquainted with Self Love Self Care First (SLSCF) in my journey of healing from trauma. It was a very uncomfortable relationship, as until then, I had looked at SLSCF as a sin. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt when I even thought of putting myself first. But I slowly learned that my beliefs had not much to do with the truth, but more to do with what I had understood to be the truth.
Read on if you have thought of SLSCF as self indulgence and selfishness.
I will explain SLSCF in the simplest terms possible so you can see how it is not what you think it is.
SLSCF is about boundaries.
SLSCF boundaries do not keep others out. (Selfish, self indulgent, self defeating, self sabotage, self punishment)
SLSCF boundaries exist to protect and nourish you. (Healthy, mature, smart)
SLSCF is about your mind and your inner life, before any focus on your outward existence.
SLSCF is a commitment to act lovingly towards yourself in your thoughts. It is about not judging your feelings. It is about growing your ability and capacity to show compassion to yourself for your failings. It is about having forgiveness and mercy for yourself when you come up short. (Being human, strength to bear your weaknesses, humility and acceptance of all parts of you)
SLSCF does not give you the right to justify hurting or harming others, even if they have done you wrong. (you are still responsible for your behavior and it's consequences, even if you feel rightfully angry or hurt by someone else's behavior or actions)
SLSCF is about taking care of your body, mind and soul before any one else's.
SLSCF is a practice of taking care of yourself first so you can take care of those who depend on you. It is about cultivating vibrancy and joy inside you. It is about having the energy to tackle the many roles you have. Running on empty will get you sick, a nervous breakdown, angry, unhappy and resentful. None of these states are going to help you help others. (Giving, healthy, joyful, generous, smart)
SLSCF is not about neglecting others while you indulge in acts that you can pass off as self love. For instance, leaving a critically sick family member's bedside to go on a spur of the moment vacation. Not to be confused with the need for a caregiver of a chronically ill family member to get a break. (selfish, manipulative, neglectful)
Self Love Self Care First is about honoring your presence in the Universe.
You deserve it.
And you are entitled to it.
So the next time someone says Self Love is selfish, I hope you will set the record straight.
And in case you still feel the need of a research article or source that supports my lived experience, here's one, courtesy someone you may be familiar with. (credit: taluskie.com)
Wishing you a journey full of SLSCF,