Self-Care: An Often Overlooked Responsibility

We cannot give to others something which we do not have. Yet so often in life we are told to take care of others first. Take a step back for a moment and consider this: how long can we maintain our own function when we repeatedly give to others while depleting ourselves?

This is much like over-farming. Farmers, prior to the industrialization of agriculture, would rotate crops to assist with avoiding nitrogen depletion of the soil. 

Yet, as a society we seem to value giving until it hurts. This leads to depleted caregivers in hospitals caring for the ill and infirmed. Meanwhile, parents are running themselves ragged giving and doing. We cannot raise crops in depleted soil nor can we nurture others with depleted souls.

Continually we are told it is shameful and selfish to take care of ourselves. I beg you (and I don’t like begging) to reconsider this belief we have been endoctrinated with. If your own cup is empty, how can you truly fill someone else’s?

Another side of this is that we often treat ourselves the way our caregivers treated us as young children. If we felt abandoned or neglected as children, we often abandon and neglect our own needs. Maybe we’re good at taking care of our physical needs, but lack self-care for emotional and spiritual needs. 

In the void of self-care, we reach for things outside ourselves to fill the emptiness. Drinking alcohol, social media absorption, sex/sexual release, dating sites, taking excessive responsibility for others, dating relationships and blogging to name a few (all areas where I have sought refuge).

Follow your heart to change the tides. There you will find your path. Self-care is not selfish. Only you can hear your heart’s words (with a few exceptions), and your own energy is the best salve for the wounds left by depleted caregivers. 

Please look inside at where you carry forward the pain from yesterday. Self-care is a life long process. It can either be life-sustaining or depleting. Which type of garden or field do you desire to live within? 

Photo credit: © Nielshariot | Dreamstime.com – Woman Looking At Self Reflection In Mirror Photo

20 thoughts on “Self-Care: An Often Overlooked Responsibility

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  1. Reblogged this on The Secret Self and commented:
    Another 100% on-target post! Tiffany is right in everything she says. The easy part is agreeing – the hard part is doing. Each day I struggle to give myself the love and affection I so easily give to others. I am much too stingy with myself but I know it’s a lifelong process. Thank you so much Tiffany for sharing this wonderful post.♥

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Your words are true and powerful. I need to make them a part of my everyday life and that’s my struggle. Some days I win it, some I lose. But through it all, knowing that I have the love and support of my Beloved eases the strain of that daily battle. You’d make an excellent psychologist/psychiatrist!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Cara! I enjoy being a physical therapist. So much of my work involves helping others to make behavioral changes to improve their lives and outcomes. I’m not a traditional PT, I work with clients who have pelvic issues…many of which stem from not knowing how to care for oneself and then I find some are resistant to self-care. I’ve learned through my work how to help motivate my clients and to help them to see how they are, indeed, harming themselves by not taking care of themselves. I also struggle at times to apply these techniques. As someone who is a recovering perfectionist, I would encourage you to see life’s opportunities as moments for potential vs good days and bad days. ❤️💕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I do try Tiffany but I need to conquer my emotions first. Too often they enflame my mind with discouraging and negative assumptions. It’s like a leak in the walls of my mind allowing this poison to seep through the cracks. As you said once, it’s a daily battle or struggle. I am so comforted and happy though that I can communicate with you. Please don’t go anywhere my friend.♥

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cara, I don’t plan to go anywhere anytime soon! It may be a challenge at first, but if you can allow the emotions to move through, as if they were a rainstorm, you’ll find yourself on the other side faster. Trust that you can survive your feelings. ❤️ I’m grateful to hear that sharing this journey through my words has helped you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with Cara 100%! Tiffany I have always learned from each of your posts but your most recent have been full of practical wisdom. At first glance simple things but very significant! Thank You! 🌹🌞 Barn
    Ps, I’d use a butterfly emoji but I can’t find one. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

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