Are you YOU the priority in your life?
What is the ratio of what you do for others verses yourself?
Do you feel like if you can just get everyone to feel better and get their sh** together, then you will dedicate some time to yourself?
Many don’t want to admit that they are typically last on their own list. You know below dishes and toilets. You aren’t lazy. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that you are a pushover or people pleaser in and of itself. Typically life got crazy busy and hard. There are more demands than answers and resources. You get into a habit of putting out fires. You get slightly addicted to focusing on others, hoping that at some point, someone will see how much you sacrifice for others and help. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of you to meet the daily demands.
Then throw in the societal expectations that women need to work a job, clean the house, raise the kids, and somehow manage this insane schedule on the way to “getting it all”. Work / Life balance is not an option. The scary part is when you realize another year has gone by and NOTHING has changed. Same stuff, different day. You hear talk of self love and decide to buy some flowers and take a bubble bath and wonder why this is never enough. It doesn’t help because you are beyond depleted. When you get to this level, I call this soul exhaustion. It is a deeper burnout that numbs you to life. You wake up every morning and jump straight into obligation. Children, parents, pets, partners, heck even emails are all right there right at the start of your day looking for help and answers. You cringe and go deeper inside yourself.
You would love to spend time doing things you love. You would love to find more excitement and happiness in your life but you don’t see how it could happen in the current circumstances. Everyone and everything around you has an expectation of YOU. I mean isn’t that selfish to abandon everyone who depends on you? The core belief deep down is that you are selfish and abandon those you love. That sounds terrible and would stop anyone from making a change.
There is a big difference between selfish/ self-absorbed and self adoration / self love. I really think that we need to identify what these words actually mean because I believe that we are confused and have some misconceptions. I know I did. There has been a big movement in the self-love industry. Let’s explore this together.
I did some research.
On instagram people tagged pictures using these hashtags. Self-love is very popular and yet when I was on there as you can see this group of pictures, it is very confusing. What is self-love?
These are the number of posts for each category.
- #selflove has 20.9 million posts.
- #selfabsorbed has 22.8 thousand posts
- #selfish has 987 thousand posts
- #selfishmother has 19.6 thousand posts
- #selfadoration has 1,436 posts
On dictionary dot com, I looked up the meaning of these words for further clarification.
- devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
- characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself:selfish motives.
- preoccupied with one’s thoughts, interests, etc.
Self Adore: (There was no self adore, so I opted to use adore and we will apply this to the self.
- to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; honor.
- to pay divine honor to; worship:to adore God.
- to like or admire very much:I simply adore the way your hair is done!
- the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
- conceit; vanity.
Seriously??? Self-love is made out to be terrible. Well I guess that is why we both want it and reject it. It is a conflicting word. It is easy to see that most of the words around the self are considered conceit, vanity, narcissistic, or just plain “all about you”. Personally, when I think of the way I want to be treated in a romantic relationship, I want to be adored. And if I want to have this experience in my romantic life, then I need to be able to experience this with myself. Do you want to feel adored? Would you like to be with a partner that loves and respects and honors you? You will need to experience this from YOU first.
We get so confused out there with all of this self love talk. It seems like a great idea, only we feel guilt. I have to be honest, there are self love courses out there that are really selling self absorption. We feel it, there is something off. The words sound good, but they promote becoming the biggest “know it all”, entitled, and dare I say, selfish souls. Slapping “I deserve” on your self affirmations will not promote the compassion that your soul craves.
So we need to find a way to bring self love into our lives that doesn’t promote a neediness or desperate experience. Being a woman that is fully in her own power and confidence is the greatest gift you can give, to yourself. It isn’t something you hope for, it is something you step into. It is the least selfish thing you can do. You don’t need anyone to fix you, read your mind, or complete you. That seems like a selfless act, not self absorbed. Your loved ones can relax in your presence and bask in your beautiful example of grace.
You can be queen that commands or demands. Commanding is a confident knowing and you make decisions in strength. Demanding is very “small” and fearful energy that makes decisions in fake bravado. (Cinderellas stepmother is a great example of demanding.) You see, when we make ourselves a priority in our lives, to work on self adoration, we become strong and confident people already full and seeking to making an impact on others. It is easy to see why making a decision to focus on your own needs would seem uncomfortable if you thought it would make you a conceited or self absorbed person. No one wants that.
Do you want to be happy? I know silly question. How about would you like to feel fulfilled no matter what the circumstance in your life? It comes from confidence. We aren’t born with confidence, we grow it. The only way to grow in confidence is to make yourself the priority, not to hurt the people around you, but to become the strongest and happiest person so you have more of YOU to go around. The needs of others will never go away. Your energy budget will never grow unless you strengthen your own self compassion muscles.
I want to shed light on this misconception that making room for your needs will somehow take away from others. I talk more about this on the podcast below especially as a single parent. I know what it is like when the needs are ridiculously high and there is only one of you. It is a challenge even if both parents are fully involved in parenting. My goal as a parent was to provide my children with the best that I could to give them the best chance possible to have a good life and be happy. The not so funny twist is that they needed me to be happy first so that they could model after me, not take my place in line.
If only there was a way to never feel guilt for doing something good. I am not sure where it all started but it has taken time and practice to learn how to accept good things in my life. One would think this is a no brainer and yet I was in a habit of saying no and pushing away opportunities to help myself. My “work” was learning how to soften, as in get out of my stubborn mode, and accept that good things are possible for me. Honestly, if you asked me 20 years ago I would have said that I thought I was cursed. That might seem dramatic but it felt like no matter how hard I tried, the challenges outweighed the good in my life. I was in a habit of expecting the worst and bracing myself for pain and suffering. I was a positive person trapped in a pessimistic mindset. The last thing I worried about was what I wanted.
And yet, it wasn’t until I started looking at what I wanted that things started to change for me in a positive direction. I might have had “selfish moments” as I tried to figure this self-love thing out, but it relaxed in time. You see when you have been starving yourself for years, (emotionally) it feels like there is never enough to feel good. But eventually over time you feel better and start to feel more excited about life and have the energy to do something about it. If you want to turn the train around in your life to feeling better and having more positive experiences, you have to make yourself a priority in your own life. There is no other way there.
Inspired Lifestyle Private Podcast
I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast. In this episode, I share more on making yourself a priority. Grab some coffee or tea and enjoy this conversation about how YOU matter.
I would love to hear in the comments where you are the priority in your life. In what ways are you making time for you?
So much love,
Xo Traci (& Kayla)