I am honored to have my daughter, Jody Moore, share her thoughts about self-care on my blog this week. I am honored to be her mom. What you see and hear from Jody is the real Jody. She shows up the same as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and entrepreneur. She walks the talk. She is perfectly imperfect, and as human as can be. She strives to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in everything she does. You can find out more about her at https://jodymoore.com. Enjoy.
2 Lies about Self-Care
By Jody Moore
"When I fill out forms that ask about my profession, I never know what box to check. Typically, there are a dozen options provided that cover the most common career fields ranging from health care to education to retail, and I often wonder how most people fill these forms out since most people’s jobs don’t fall into tosee dozen or so common categories.
I am a life coach, and if you are rolling your eyes or not sure what that means I’m right there with you. Even I roll my eyes every time another person throws up some clever picture quotes and claims to be able to make all your dreams come true. But hear me out for just a moment if you will, because I’d like to say a few things about the topic of self-care and address how it is sometimes misinterpreted, or even misused in a way that creates more problems than it solves.
I tell people, “What if you decided to love and care for yourself?” and they say, “That sounds nice in theory, but I have people depending on me and I don’t have the extra time or money or energy to go to yoga, take bubble baths, get massages, or chant affirmations at myself in the mirror. I’m just not a selfish person like that.”
And then I know they are misunderstanding what I mean by loving and caring for yourself. They have believed the 2 lies about what self-care actually is. Let’s take a look and unwind them, shall we?
Lie #1: Self-care is doing nice things for yourself.
If you want to get pedicures or take bubble baths or whatever else you enjoy I’m not against that. I do believe you should be doing way more of it than you probably are. But that’s only a tiny little drop in the bucket of what self-care actually is.
If you care for yourself, then yes you might treat yourself on occasion, but it has a lot less to do with what you do and more to do with the conversation happening in your head with you. Let’s begin there.
Do you pay attention to you? To what you think, what you’re afraid of, what you desire, how you feel, or what you need? Do you notice what’s great or unique about you? Do you notice your weaknesses with compassion and your shortcomings with curiosity? Or do you, like most people do the opposite of this? Most people ignore themselves, dismiss their own interests and desires with, “You don’t have the time for that,” or, “You’re not good at that,” and eventually those interests and desires stop trying to be heard. Most people only notice themselves when it’s time to judge and criticize. And we wonder why we feel so bad so often.
Imagine you had a child you treated this way. Never spending time with them. Always too busy. Always dismissing them. Telling them their opinion doesn’t matter as much as everyone else’s. Full of criticism. This would never create the relationship you want with that child.
But I have good news for you.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to strengthen your relationship with yourself. You just have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to you. To be kinder to you. To embrace all of you. I found journaling to be helpful as it’s like a one-on-one date with my brain.
I also recommend that you stop trying to believe that you are great and embrace that you are sometimes great and sometimes a hot mess. Then decide to love yourself anyway. Again, this is what we do for other people in our lives. We don’t expect perfection out of them. We give them the benefit of the doubt way more than we do for ourselves. But if you have the skill of being patient and compassionate with someone else and loving them anyway, you can simply apply it to yourself any time you want.
And if you’re thinking this sounds selfish, then let’s talk about lie #2.
Lie #2: Self-care is selfish.
The word selfish is interesting in and of itself and you will find a lot of different meanings for it. If by selfish you mean, “a focus on yourself,” then I’d say yes. Self-care is selfish. But I would add that it is your job to be selfish in this way. It’s your job to lean to love you. Why do we expect other people to accept us, be compassionate with us, and love us if we can’t do it? You go first.
But if by selfish you mean, “taking care of yourself at the expense of others,” then I’d say a big fat no. Self-care is not that. Your brain might believe that when you choose to set aside time for you and someone at home is mad you’re not giving that time to them. But that is a very short-sighted way to view it.
I have 4 kids. But I think of myself as having 5 kids because I am one of those kids. If I have a child who is struggling in some way, the other children might get less attention for a moment while I help the struggling child. They may not like it and that’s ok. It’s important for me that my kids learn the value of sacrificing and are not spoiled or entitled. And what I need, what I want, what I desire, what I think, is actually even more relevant to me than what everyone else wants or needs. It has to be. It’s ME.
This doesn’t mean I always give myself what I want. I sacrifice my own desires for my loved ones all the time. It only means that I know I am responsible for meeting my own needs. I’m an adult. I am the best one to meet my needs because I always do it the right way and I am the only one I can control and count on.
And here’s the truth my friends.
If you aren’t learning to love you and care for your needs, you will expect the people outside of you to do it for you. You will be resentful when they don’t do it consistently and you will be disappointed when they do it their way instead of your way. I know this from experience and from coaching thousands of clients.
Not loving yourself, or being there for yourself is selfish. It puts the burden of your needs (the most basic of which is understanding your worth) on the people around you. It leads to resentment for the people you most want to love and then placing the blame on them for how you’re feeling.
Stop believing these lies.
Start owning the truth.
The truth is our Heavenly Parents were having a very good day when they created you. It’s. your job to take precious care and love on their creation. "