We do this for two reasons. First, not only were we taught to put the needs of others ahead of our own but we quickly discovered making sure our abusers were happy and cared for was a way for these people to leave us alone.
Second, if you had a narcissistic parent, you were constantly punished for being “selfish.” Anytime a child puts his or her basic emotional needs first, a narcissistic parent will accuse that child of being selfish. Why? Because the narcissist’s needs should always come first. No exceptions. This is a toxic form of narcissistic abuse. It teaches the child that he or she has no value or worth.
Over time, like many of you, I lost touch with my individuality. I had no idea what I needed or wanted. I didn’t even know how to ask for it. My self-sacrificing behavior was fueled by the toxic belief that people who put their needs first were selfish. To prove I wasn’t that kind of person, I’d spent my entire life ignoring my needs.
This is what the pain of trauma is all about. Abuse took our identity from us. We no longer remember who we are, and we have no idea what we need. Because of what happened to us, we’re terrified that we aren’t worthy of love or care.
None of this is true. We’re just as worthy of self-care and self-compassion as everyone else. You’re not a selfish person. And you never were.
Let today be the day you put yourself first in a healthy way. Here’s how to start: do what brings you joy. I’m not kidding. It’s that simple.
- Go to a coffee shop and enjoy the peace
- Window shop
- Drive to the park
- Go to a movie
- Attend a Sunday church service or daily Mass
- Join a gym
- Take a walk around the block
- Call a friend to chat
- Meet a friend for coffee or lunch
- Read a book
- Practice yoga
- Learn a new language
- Buy yourself a small gift
- Plant a garden
- Play with your pet
- Take a relaxing bubble bath
- Work a crossword puzzle
- Start a new craft project
You don’t need anyone’s permission to do these things. Yes, taking time for yourself will feel uncomfortable at first. I used to worry about what others would think. I felt so guilty when I took care of myself! But then I realized no one was watching. That’s because self-care is normal, healthy behavior. Who knew, right? Not us!
Your sole purpose in life isn’t to exhaust yourself by serving others. The more you practice self-care the less power this toxic belief will hold over you. Every day do something that makes you happy. You’re worth it!
Is it hard for you to take time for yourself? Do you struggle with the concept of loving self-care? Don’t worry. I can help! Just follow (this link) or call 619-889-6366 to reserve a one-hour coaching session with me ($100). Let me help you heal your life. Reserve your spot NOW!
Have you read my bestselling book, “Journey to the Heart”? If you’re ready to heal from the effects of trauma (depression, anxiety, PTSD, allergies, chronic pain, etc.), this book is for YOU!! You’ll find it at Amazon in Paperback (link) or Kindle (link). Enjoy and happy reading!
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