So, I need to make an adjustment. I wrote a blog post all about self care a wee while ago. You can read it here if you haven’t seen it yet. It may give you some context.
I wrote about the need for self care as a way to set the respectful boundaries you require and a way to develop a healthy relationship with yourself. But I also wrote in the post about doing the self care so you could have more to give to others. I wrote it with the best intentions and the best part of my heart but I now feel the sentiment is wrong. My eyes have been opened.
Neghar Fonooni (total goddess and life warrior…check her out on Instagram) writes:
‘ The notion that you should take care of yourself – love yourself- in order to be able to do so for others sounds nice on the surface, but in reality it’s destructive. Insidious. It perpetuates a power structure that thrives on archaic and oppressive gender roles. Your self care doesn’t need to be justified; your self love does not require qualification.’
Daaaaaamn… here I was thinking I had nailed the concept of self care, and I kind of did, but I still placed a lot of it’s value on what it will allow you to do for others. My bad! I appreciate this point of view shared to remind me and to remind you that actually, you can just do the self care for you. End of story.
You are worthy of your own love and respect. You are the only one responsible for owning your own worth. It doesn’t have to be packaged up in some altruistic goal of being more for others. Ever. Maybe the thought should be that yes, you will have more to give and that’s all well and good, but actually you will have more for yourself. And that’s enough. More than enough.
As I make my way through life learning and growing and learning…and learning some more, I’m going to muck up here and there. Or, I’m going to learn something that negates or adds to or changes prior thinking and beliefs. I’m okay with this. I promise to own it when I do. That’s all I can do. Know better, do better (thank you Maya Angelou).
This is why I have started reading all I can and following people (mostly women because I need to hear more from female voices) from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of experiences. I know I have a lot to learn. A lot to teach and to give but always, so much to learn. This is not to take away from myself. This isn’t to say I have to agree with everything or assume everyone else’s way is the right way. It isn’t to say I can’t discard what I don’t need or want in my life but I just think we are all here to learn and grow as much as possible from the folk around us. And to share and teach and help. It’s the big give and take.
As always, this links back to baby boy, Tiny Dictator, TD. What I want for him. I want him to drink it all in. Every part of being human. And that means learning, being a life long learner. I want him to be curious always. I want him to own his strengths and his limitations. I want him knowing what he knows and knowing what he can do and also what he doesn’t and can’t without shame. I want him to know that there is so much to learn from everyone (positively and negatively). I want him to understand that believing this doesn’t take away from his own abilities and knowledge. It doesn’t diminish his value and shouldn’t shake his confidence. It’s just life.
Learning is life. Said like a true teacher right? But if it’s not, then what’s the point? What do we become if we aren’t open to learning? Well, actually, I think we can see everywhere exactly what happens when people shut themselves off from learning and learning from others. Learning is the great connector. It’s one of the most human of experiences. Let’s soak it up and take and give what we can.
Here’s to the great unknown and trying to learn the shit out of it.
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