When Self-Love Means Saying No
Throughout the evolution of human society, we have been repeatedly reminded of the need to be generous, thoughtful and altruistic. However, there are many in society who have taken this mantra to the extreme; those who like to be constantly ‘good’, or ‘selfless’, or ‘enlightened’.
If you are one of these individuals – if you are naturally sympathetic, sensitive or programmed to please others – then I would like to remind you that there is one person deserving of your love, generosity and attention more than anyone else on the planet. YOU!
And it is important to ensure that your needs, your desires are always met first.
Of course, self-love, (or as I call it, self-fullness), does not offer a golden ticket to greed, selfishness and indifference, but it does mean that we each need to love ourselves passionately; to give ourselves permission to ensure that we are nurtured emotionally, physically and spiritually. Then, when we are ‘full’ – when our needs are met – it becomes incredibly easy and incredibly natural to give to those around us.
There are four times when it is vital to put self above service and, if would like to love yourself more deeply, I encourage you to discern when your actions fall into the following categories:
When you are rescuing, not helping:
It is vital to remember that life is all about experience, and there will be times when our help or generosity actual hinders the psychological and spiritual growth of another person. By giving them continual financial help, they may never learn the value of money. By providing constant emotional support, they may never learn to tap into their own inner strength. By continually ignoring or excusing others’ bad behaviour, they may never understand the need to embrace their innate love and compassion.
When you are only doing it because you “should”:
If you truly want to help – or give your time, or support – then deep inside you will actually have all of the resources needed to complete the task; your generosity or selflessness will be coming from a place of authenticity and will only serve to lift your spirits further. However, if you are only doing something because you should, then you are probably lacking in some of your own needs – it’s time to put yourself first – or your input is not for the highest good of all concerned.
When you are fulfilling someone else’s dream:
We each arrive on this planet with the perfect talents, desires and energy levels required for us to fulfil our role in this wondrous tapestry of life. If you find yourself investing all of your talents and energy into someone else’s dream, it is time to start saying “no”. It can be hard to invest time and effort into yourself (especially if, deep down, you feel like you don’t deserve success) but if you don’t work on your own dream, you can be sure that you are robbing us all of something uniquely wonderful.
When you are depressed, anxious or physically ill:
Your body is designed to be your feedback mechanism – are you listening? If you are unwell or depleted in any way, it is your body’s response to an inherent imbalance in the way you live your life. Injuries can also be your body’s way of telling you that your habit of carrying or supporting others is unhealthy for you.