Self-Care is not Self-Centered

For the LONGEST time, I struggled with the concept that self-care is not self-centered {Sometimes I still do}.

I love helping out other people, encouraging them and helping them to succeed. But I always got to a point where I burned myself out, felt left out, or felt like I wasn’t as effective as I could be. But, I always saw self care as stepping back and counting myself out of the game for a period of time. I was never in a state of mind where that was a peaceful idea for me. I felt like by stepping back, I was {in a sense} quitting. With all of my hospital visits, doctors, and surgeries, I already saw myself as behind in the game. So to consciously take myself out of the game would be like hitting the brakes and watching everyone speed past me to the finish line.

A tree can’t produce good fruit if it’s not well taken care of. An individual may love the apples from an apple tree. But, if the tree is not taken care of or planted in the proper environment, come harvest time, those apples won’t taste very good. In fact, it could make someone sick. A plant needs a delicate balance of sunlight, nutrients, water, and time to be able to thrive.  So why do we think we’re any different?

It wasn’t until recently that I fully comprehended the fact that your pace to grow doesn’t equate to your place in the race.

Loving people and taking care of people is our Heavenly Father’s greatest Commandment to us. What are our actions without love for one another? But take it a step further… How can we fully comprehend what it means to love those around us if we don’t first love and take care of ourselves? How can our words and actions be sweet to someone in need if we aren’t planted in the proper environment before the harvest season?

We’ve all heard the phrase “practice what you preach”, right? Well why do we think that doesn’t include caring for ourselves? Why is self-care seen as something that’s looked down on or selfish?

If you’re into the enneagram, I’m a solid 2w3. Like no matter how many times I take the test, or which test I take, I get that result loud and clear – I’m not even close to any other number. A 2w3 is known as the hostess. Someone who will go above and beyond to serve and help everyone around them. Often times, that leaves them in the dust. Imagine helping everyone build their dream car out of parts that you have, only to realize when everyone’s driven away that you have nothing left for yourself. If you’re like me, that can happen without even realizing it if we’re not careful!

But when you aren’t taking care of yourself, you lose yourself. You get so wrapped up helping others that that becomes who you are. You are just as deserving of love and care as the people around you.

So if you’re feeling burnt out, stressed out, or even overstretched, I challenge you to take a step back, unplug, and take a deep breath. I promise you its okay to take a break and focus on yourself for a season. The world will still be there when you’re ready.

Self care is not self centered. It’s time we change the narrative and treat ourselves. Not only will we be in a better place, but our service to others will be so much richer. You’re beautiful, you’re loved, and you deserve some much needed rest.

Much love,

Lauren K. ❤

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