* Taking Care

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita LLoyd

So many of us spend our time taking care of others. Our relationships have become ones of giving and supporting those closest to us.

And then we forget how to take care of ourselves.

When we think of taking care of ourselves, the inner critic tells us it is selfish and self indulgent to take care of our own needs. Β It reminds us of how we want to be seen by others… as caring supportive and kind. Never selfish and self absorbed.

We see ourselves based on the roles we have played.Β Its easy to become chained to these supportive and caring roles of the past.

Somewhere along the way we lose touch with who we are.

The choices we make become based on the needs of others, and our own needs are buried and hidden in a stuffed aching drawer inside of us.

I came across these words that feel authentic and true.

“Self indulgence is different from self care. Self indulgence feeds the sense of being a separate self. When we become self indulgent, our life is about the little me…

Self care means that we listen to our core needs, set reasonable boundaries with others, and live in balance. It also means that we question our limiting beliefs that create suffering for ourselves and others. It means that we live in a growing integrity with a deeper truth that we are not separate from anyone. Genuine self care frees us to be more selfless.”

~ John J Prendergast from “In Touch”

We know not to listen to the voice of self indulgence. Yet we must learn to listen to the voice that counsels compassion and care for our true being.

Genuine self care brings life into balance and frees us to be more selfless.


38 thoughts on “* Taking Care

  1. “It reminds us of how we want to be seen by others… as caring supportive and kind. Never selfish and self absorbed.”

    That statement jumped out at me, Val.

    Any time we “want to be seen by others” in a certain way, it means we’re using an external yardstick instead of an inner compass to measure our actions. That’s problematic because (1) we can’t control how others see us (since how they see us is often a reflection of who they are and, also, their perspective is limited); and (2) it encourages us to look for approval from others to bolster our self-image and ego.

    Using an internal compass is so much easier. We choose to be caring supportive and kind because being that way makes us feel good . . . even if no one notices.

    Plus, we are more apt to notice when WE are in need of our self care and concern.

    Keep breathing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true Nancy. Yet many folks have been externally focused for so long, they are quite lost when it comes to recognizing and taking care of their own needs. This is a message for so many caring people. πŸ’›


  2. “Selfish” is not a bad word. One need only think of it in a different context. I’ve comfortably chosen to be selfish many times because I know what that action then enables me to do – better. Excellent topic, Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent time in my studio last night — it was a conscious choice to give myself self-care. Getting, and being always conscious of my own needs is a daily decision. Sometimes, I do better than others! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for this Val. A lovely reminder to step into self-conscious choice for self-care.

    And is the painting yours? It’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Louise for adding your wisdom here. Creating space for ourselves is so important when we are carers of others. It isn’t my painting. Looks like the credit got lost when I retrieved it from an earlier post. I do love it too!


  4. So true! And this is a hard one for me, since my elderly mother is becoming more dependent upon me by the day, and I do want to take care of her. At the same time, I don’t want to lose myself in that caregiver role. What makes things even more complicated is the fact that the rest of my family also sees me primarily as a caregiver. Have to stand up to their perception of me as well, and that’s not easy. Thanks for the timely post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This really resonates with me as my 91-year-old father is becoming more and more dependent on me. An important lesson to keep in mind. Thank you, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good subject. It took me years to figure it out then I actually listened to the airline attendant talk about placing the oxygen mask on your own face first so you were alive to help your children or others. If we don’t pay attention to our own needs, our body has a way of bringing it to our attention. Not always in the best way.

    Liked by 1 person

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