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Healthy Selfishness - Learning To Love Yourself the Way You Deserve

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Surprise! I know I went a bit MIA there for a bit. Ironically, I was very overwhelmed. As I'm sure most people feel. Life right now is super hectic and I was feeling all this pressure to do a million things and with that I just started to feel really depressed. I started writing this blog post about healthy selfishness and realized that this post was contributing to my depression and overwhelmed feeling, so I decided to practice what I preach and step back on the blog until I felt really ready. And here I am! I'm back, I'm feeling better and I'm ready to write again! Sorry for ghosting for a bit, can't promise it won't happen again but I can promise that I'll always be honest about what's going on when I come back. Now! To the post!

In August I had the amazing opportunity to have my Natal Chart read. What's a natal chart you may ask? (because I asked this myself before I got mine done) A natal chart reading looks at the location of the planets in the sky at the time you were born. Where the planets are can tell you more about your personality and give you guidance. It was super interesting and I absolutely loved every bit of it. I'm not someone who's super in to astrology and I've always been a tad bit skeptical about tarot card readings and all that but my reading told me a lot about myself, especially the ways in which I am not serving myself. The thing that I've been focusing on the most is this concept of: Healthy Selfishness.

My first thought when I was told the term Healthy Selfishness was "that's not for me." I actually brushed right over it during the reading, it wasn't until I re-listened to the reading a month later that the concept started to sink in and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I've never liked the idea of being selfish, to me the act of not thinking of others and how my actions could impact others goes against every grain of my being. Buuut I honestly felt like I was drowning and knew that I couldn't keep doing what I was doing. Over the last 7 weeks I've been trying to figure out what Healthy Selfishness looked like to me and how I could integrate it into my life.

Me to myself every week I didn't write this blog post

During these last few weeks there has been one resounding thought I've had in regards to Healthy Selfishness, I need to know the difference between reasons and excuses. I would go on instagram and see all these posts saying to stop making excuses and just do all the things you've always wanted to do. I'd see these posts and I'd feel like absolute shit because I was laying in bed, with the curtains closed, not doing all the things I want to do, all because I couldn't find the energy to get out of bed. But then I would force myself to do the workouts, to sit in front of my computer and try and write and that felt even worse. I felt like I was battling everyone online telling me to stop making excuses and the part of my brain that was telling me to just lay in bed. On the flip side I've seen a lot of posts online saying to give yourself credit because we're all under a lot more emotional stress than usual with the pandemic and I would think, "no that's just an excuse," while feeling emotionally exhausted.

I couldn't figure out what the truth was and that was torturing me. Until I realized that they were both true. I do make excuses that stop myself from achieving the things I want, but I am also under a lot of emotional stress and sometimes just need some time in bed. That's when I decided that my Healthy Selfishness is listening to these valid "reasons" and to stop calling them excuses.

Through this process I realized how harsh I am on myself. If I was talking to a friend and they would tell me, "I've had a really hard day emotionally and all I want to do is lay in bed and watch RuPaul's Drag Race, but I can't because I still have to write and workout and cook." I'd 100% tell them that they should lay in bed if that's what they felt they needed, so why wasn't I telling myself this? Why couldn't I love myself the way I love all of my friends?

Me to myself when I find the will to get out of bed

The first week that I was practicing Healthy Selfishness I definitely went a bit overboard, I was definitely leaning more towards unhealthy selfishness. Being selfish just for the sake of being selfish, not thinking about how it was affecting the other people in my life. Leaning in to the excuses and not the reasons. It took one of my friends calling me on it that it hit, I wasn't being healthily selfish - I was being a bitch and I never want to be a bitch (without reason). So the next few weeks were spent internally figuring out how to manage this fine line between healthy and unhealthy selfishness. What I figured out was that there are three key components that go into decided in something is healthy selfishness or not.

  1. Will my selfishness negatively impact someone else's life more than it will mine?

I think everyone can relate to that feeling of dread you have on a Friday night at 10pm when you realize you made plans to go on a hike on a 7am on a Saturday. The question of, do I cancel these plans with a friend because I can't fathom getting myself up at 7am after the week I just had or do I go on the hike because I made the plans and I don't want to be that person who bails on their friend. I think this situation works perfectly for is this healthy selfishness or is it unhealthy. And it it's more than just "what do I want" and realizing that there is another person to consider in this situation. How would I handle the situation? I would ask myself these questions: When was the last time I saw this friend? Have I seen them recently enough or do I know I'm going to see them again soon that this hike isn't necessary to catch up? Why does my friend want to hike, have they been going through things too and need this connection with me? and my most important question (which I think can be applied to all situations): How would I feel if my friend did this to me?

I think putting yourself in someone else's shoes and weighing how you would feel if they were doing these things to you is a great way to see if you're being healthily selfish or not. This might be different depending on people's level of empathy but looking at it from a different perspective and considering the other person's feelings is a good check to your actions.

Friends accepting each others' healthy selfishness

2. Am I leaning in to my excuses or are there valid reasons for my feelings?

I'm not someone who can workout and eat healthy 100% of the time. I feel like when I force myself to be healthy all the time and push myself to workout every day I start to love myself a lot less and my body dysmorphia becomes all I can think about. (Read about my experience with body dysmorphia here) Because of this I have to apply this question the most to my eating habits and skipping out on a workout. I usually ask myself some questions. Why do I want to eat this pizza, will eating this pizza actually make me feel better or is it a mask for something else? Sometimes the answer is "I'm eating this pizza just because I want to" and sometimes the answer it "I'm eating this pizza because life is hard right now and I know that eating healthy will make me hate myself more than I already do." If the answer is "just because I want to" I usually make myself something healthy instead and see how I feel after that. If the answer is "I need to love myself right now" than I get the damn pizza!

I feel like learning the difference between what is an excuse and what is an actual reason was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Turns out I always knew when I was making excuses for myself and when I really needed to take breaks in my life and leaning away from excuses and leaning in to reasons has made such a huge difference in feeling healthy and loving myself properly.

My schedule every week now

3. Is this an act of love?

The biggest thing I learned through this journey is that I didn't love myself as much as I thought I did. Realizing that I wasn't treating myself with the same care and love I treat my friends wasn't really a shock but it did make me really sad. Because of that I started asking myself if I was loving myself with my actions. If I questioned if an action was healthy or not I would ask myself, "Will you feel love through this action?" "If your friend told you to do this action, would you think this came from a place of love?" If the answers to those questions were yes, I knew that I was doing these things from a place of love. Self love is something that I'm constantly working on, especially since I tend to give away the love that I actually need for myself. (That was something that was also told to me during my natal chart reading)

My new mantra

Healthy selfishness has been the biggest challenge I've experienced while practicing self love, but it's also the thing that has made me love myself the most. This practice has shown me what it truly means to love myself, to put myself first and not harm others in the process, and most importantly it's shown me what the best ways to love myself are. What started out to be a fun little saying that I heard turned in to a process that has completely changed my outlook on life. If you want to incorporate healthy selfishness in your practice and have some questions feel free to reach out to me! I am always learning so if you have any tips and tricks to healthy selfishness leave a comment below!

Until next week!


A Whelmed Christy

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