I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival ~ Audre Lorde
I often wondered why did it feel so natural to be sympathetic and kind to those we care about—yet so hard to treat ourselves in the same fashion? Why did it feel uneasy to say no to a family member or a colleague when I wasn’t up for the task? Perhaps I just didn’t feel like doing anything at that moment. Don’t I have that option?
We’ve been led to believe we’re selfish if we think about ourselves or if we give we’re going to look good to them.
I decided a few years ago to invoke self-compassion and kindness towards myself. Although, there have been times when I forget and go back to my “old” ways. However, it all started with this two letter word: No.
I tell you, it wasn’t easy at first. I found myself stammering and whispering the word…while the other person had to lean in and ask “excuse me…did you just say no?” After I had declined the first few offers, nicely of course, I noticed it wasn’t that bad…why?
I needed to take care of myself.
I needed to honor myself.
I said no to standards that no longer served me. To people who drained me of my creativity and expression. To ideas that didn’t resonate with who I was.
That’s when I was free to say a truly powerful “Yes” in my life—one that opened the door to opportunities, abundance, love, acceptance, allowing, giving, forgiving and being kinder to myself and everyone else around me. It truly is a liberating feeling.