Why it’s okay to be “Selfish”

By on Jan 7, 2018 in Body, Mind, Soul |

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You know, 2018 hasn’t started off great for me. I’ve come to find out that a close family member is getting a divorce after a short marriage, I’ve been sick since November of 2017, bills are starting to stack up, and it seems like I’ve yelled, “It just CAN’T get ANY WORSE!” a million times, but then it does. Like my grandmother having to stay in the hospital for 3 days and having this really random medical problem come up that wasn’t even on our radar for her because she’s freaking healthy for having breast cancer twice.   I CAN’T TAKE IT!!   Okay, let’s take a deep breath, here. I know it could definitely get worse. I know people have it worse. And I certainly know that I am very well off for being a low-income, wife-of-a-college-man young adult. But it’s times like this where I push and push and PUSH myself to the breaking point every single time. Every time, without fail, I end up getting sick (because that’s what my body does when I’ve been stressed for too long and it’s forcing me to take a break), which then ends up stressing me more because I have work or have some other responsibility to attend to but then I can’t, because I—you guessed it—am sick.   You see, I have a very bad problem with caring too much. A lot of people with depression do. I care too much about how others, even strangers, view me. I care too much about how the sun is too bright or the clouds are too gray or that the dinner I’m cooking for my husband might just a tad too plain for him. I even care too much about what my cat might think of me if she could talk and have an opinion of my weird quirks or the way I walk, for heaven’s sake.   It’s this horrible, harmful cycle that I get into that just does not work! Why can’t I realize earlier that it doesn’t work? Why am I so hard on myself? Why, oh, why?   But then that doesn’t solve anything, does it? Asking all of the why’s. But do you know what DOES help solve this problem?   Being selfish.   I cringe as I even type that word. I’ve been raised with some pretty selfish people around me. I’ve been absolutely terrified of that word. I have never wanted to come off selfish. That’s why I care too much. Because I just simply don’t want to be selfish.   Let me clarify.   I’m not talking about being selfish and taking from others. That’s kind of the definition of “selfish,” right? You’re so absorbed in the gain or pleasure of yourself, you lack the thought of the other people around you.   No, no. I’m absolutely not talking about that kind of selfish. Trust me, that’s the last thing on my to-do list. I’ve got a track record proving that. No, I’m talking about being selfish in the way of taking care of yourself. I’m talking about the opposite selfish we’ve been used to.   In a way, I’ve been selfish in thinking too much about others and have lacked the consideration for my own body, mind, and soul. In a way, I’ve been so absorbed with not being selfish in the normal definition of selfish, that I’ve been selfish in a different way. Funny, huh?   It’s time to take a stand! It’s time to be self-loving, self-caring, self-approving, self-hoping, self-aware, and self—well, just self-okay.   I have said in the past that I’m going to focus on myself and better myself and work on myself. But did I really mean it? No, unfortunately not. I said that to the ones around me to get them off my back. I said it to them because that’s what they wanted to hear. I said that, because I wasn’t loving myself, truly.   You have to want to work on yourself. I only kind of wanted to work on myself. But more importantly, you have to be okay with working on yourself. I was definitely not okay with working on myself because I thought that that was being selfish.   Boy, was I wrong. Being selfish in the sense that I’m talking about, is okay. Being self-loving and taking care of yourself.   I took my first step the other day. It felt great! It felt strange! Part of my self-care was actually sitting down and doing something I enjoy doing. I haven’t done that in such a long time.  
I went out and I bought Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series for about $25.
I, honestly, mainly bought it for my husband, but I bought it for myself, too, sort of. I sat down, grabbed some tea for my poor sickly throat, and watched it. All. Day.   It felt so weird! I NEEDED to do the dishes because my husband had been working so much lately and they had been sitting for a few days since I was sick. I NEEDED to clean up our room of laundry because I always seem to wash them but never put them away. I NEEDED to do this and that and, “Oh, yeah, I have to get blank done because blank is just SUPER important.”   No, I let myself be stress-free and took care of myself. The dishes can get done. The laundry will be hung up. Everything can be done and I don’t have to be caring about everything all the time.   For once, I was selfish—no, I was self-loving and self-caring.   That’s my goal, now—one of my goals, I guess—to take care of myself in 2018. It sure has started off going into the ditch and just riding in the ditch. Like, my tires just WILL NOT get out!   But I was able to turn my tires in the right direction, I think, to get them out of that ditch and going on this really long, hard, pretty-much-straight-uphill road. I’m going to turn this ditch-of-a-year (pun absolutely intended) into a loving year. A healing year. A year that won’t make me become selfish, necessarily, but a year that I can be mindful of my health, body, and spirit.