Come on, guys. We are Generation Treat Yo-Self.
Dear my fellow co-blogger, Savvy: I realize this blog post is a bit of an objection to your post “Take Care of Yourself.” You wrote about the importance of self-care and I don’t mean to argue against you.
Actually, if I may spoil your post for those who have yet to read it, you made an excellent point in the last paragraph. You wrote:
“You can take care of yourself by realising that life isn’t about you.”
I couldn’t agree more. I love how you made a distinction between self-care and self-love. Both are popular buzzwords in today’s world. In fact, the October issue of Cosmopolitan magazine was “The Wellness Issue” which definitely supports my point. It was full of articles about yoga, jogging in the woods, masturbation, saying no to people, and other self-care-slash-self-love tactics.
And, call me critical, but the hype struck me as rather indulgent.
So I’m on board with your not-so-pop-culture version of self-care. I totally agree when you wrote how “this kind of self-care doesn’t come from ‘me-time.’ It is the act of caring for others and putting others first that takes me closer to a revived and refreshed soul than a sick and exhausted one.”
It kind of makes me think of that cliché saying: you can’t love someone until you love yourself. To a degree, I agree.
But at the same time, I feel as though the act of loving someone—committing and devoting and sacrificing yourself to another person—is simultaneously SO GOOD for yourself. It’s as though, by loving someone else, you are loving yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?
Okay. Let’s get real. You know that in the past week, I experienced a very difficult change of events. It was the kind of change that, no matter how long I anticipated it, my emotions were not prepared.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care. And I realize that, for me, my version of caring for myself is exertion. A good kind of exertion.
As you know, outside of my day job, I volunteer at a café where all the proceeds go to fight human trafficking. One night, when I told the barista about this change of events, he said:
“Why didn’t you tell me before? I would have given you the night off.”
But I realize this now: relaxation, introspection, and general “me-time” would have been Torture with a capital T. I needed to spend the night making frappes for sweaty-faced Floridians. I needed to spend an extra hour sweeping the floor, wiping down tabletops, and refilling trash cans.
It’s more than just a distraction. It’s that do-good-feel-good phenomenon. Plus, it’s serving others, which is what Jesus taught us to do, after all. 1 Peter 4:10 says:
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
So overall, instead of self-love, I’m going to value “other-love.” I know that, for me, actively loving others benefits my own emotional health. I have a feeling you’re the same way.
It’s not because we’re oh-so-selfless. I would speak for myself but, Savvy, you’re the one who said how all the good things in YOU are simply Christ in YOU. When you told me that, it turned the world on its head for me.
Because it’s so true! Without Him, we are selfish, self-focused human beings.
So with help from the ultimate Servant, let’s serve others. And through that, I think we’ll discover the true meaning of self-care.
Miss you always,