It’s Not Selfish

It’s difficult sometimes fitting everything in a day. We are pulled in so many directions. There are so many distractions. There’s that voice that nags, taunts, and criticizes. The voice that tells you that you are guilty of not being good enough. The voice that tells you that it is selfish to rest, say no, or do anything for yourself. The voice, the one constantly berating you. It is wrong. Read that again. Yes, aloud even. It is W R O N G. You are not a failure when you need to rest. You are not selfish when you take care of yourself.

As a mom, I struggle finding time and energy to do things that I need or want to do for myself. I feel guilty when I sit down and read. I feel selfish when I say that I need to take a break or do something for myself. I feel like a failure when I need help or can’t do something on my own. These things are not true, they’re lies. Lies we believe and feel with every ounce of who were are.

The truth is we need rest. We need to be able to say no. We need to take care of ourselves. It is not selfish to do these things. In fact, I would go so far to say that the opposite is true. It is selfish to try to do everything on our own. It is prideful to work to the point where we break. It is destructive to us and those we love. In doing these things, we are the center.

If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you’ve experienced the flight attendant instruction routine. I used to balk at the idea of putting the oxygen mask on myself before my children thinking I was being brave and protective. The truth is my children need me to be able to breath in order to care for them. If I don’t live, I leave them stranded. We do this same thing when we don’t take care of ourselves. There is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, but holds an incredible amount of truth. “You can’t give out of an empty cup” That’s my paraphrase and I’ll be honest I don’t know who said it. What I do know is that it is Truth. When we are empty or stretched to our breaking point, we have very little to give. We tend to be ineffective as leaders, friends, and parents.

It’s time to take care of yourself, not to the detriment of your family, but to their benefit. Set goals to become emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy. Create a plan and then stick to it. Ask someone you trust to help keep you accountable by asking about your goals and progress. Ask someone to be your fitness partner or join a challenge group (I can help with this part!). Attend a Bible study; did you know that some people do these in online groups? Whatever it is that you need to do, now is the time.