Take care of yourself first. Do you put others before yourself on a regular basis? Do you pride yourself on being unselfish?
For those of us who believe in the power of kindness and helping others, it is sometimes difficult to see when we are leaving ourselves behind. Many of us have been taught not to be selfish or greedy. Although these values are infinitely important, it is equally important to remember that taking care of ourselves has to come first. We cannot help anyone in a deep and meaningful way if we ourselves are not okay.
We confuse self-care with selfishness, and because we want to be kind, we often leave ourselves behind. In our efforts to help others, we can actually do them a great disservice in many ways, two of which are rampant in today’s world.
First, when we put ourselves last in order to help others, we are teaching them to do the same. Ultimately, we want those we love to take care of themselves.
We help them because they are important to us, but it is endlessly more valuable for those we love to concede to their innermost selves that they are important. No matter how important they are to us, our love cannot save them.
We could help our loved ones a thousand times over, but if they do not know how to help themselves, they will never achieve the level of happiness that we so deeply wish for them.
The most valuable way to help others is to teach them, through our steady example, the importance of caring for and helping ourselves.
Finally, when we place ourselves last in order to be there for others, we are showing them that we do not believe in them. Through our willingness to put our needs aside in order to fulfil theirs, we are unknowingly placing them beneath us. When we show others that they are not capable of taking care of themselves, and we must place their needs before our own, we are actually hurting them, not helping.
We are the answer to our challenges. Each and every one of us has the capacity to surmount any obstacle we face in life. If we truly believe this and have faith in ourselves, others, and the universe, we know that we must take care of ourselves first.
This is your precious life, give yourself permission to be there for yourself. You are the only person who will always be with you and you deserve the very best, always. Make the choice today, and never leave yourself behind again.