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  • Michaela Patel


First, you must re-define selfishness.

So far you’ve been told (and believed!) that selfishness is putting you first. Yet, putting you first is necessary for you to share your jar of sweets with others. Because how can you share from an empty jar? How can you truly give from nothing? How can you share your happiness and love with others when you feel deeply unhappy due to all the shame and self-loathing?

For every negative thought about yourself, for every destructive word of self-critique, for every action which knocks your confidence down, you are emptying your jar. Your barometer of self-love and self-worth drops.

Notice the many ways you may abuse yourself. Waking up and looking at yourself in the mirror, notice the unkind thoughts towards your reflection. At work, notice your every harsh word you accept to be true about your performance and how you just aren’t good enough at what you do. When spending time with your loved ones, catch yourself thinking how undeserving you are of their company because you don’t measure up to their standards of care or their image.

We often think we are fraud, that others wouldn't love us if they really knew us.

Amongst parents the self-abuse is rampant. We just aren’t great at parenting, are we? We notice what we could do better for our children, or how we could be calmer during difficult times. Parenting is far the hardest job because A/ we have not had any training for it. We never really know what is asked of us and if we are doing it right. We honestly feel lost and unsupported. And B/ our children don’t appreciate our efforts leaving us feeling deeply unappreciated. To top it all up C/ it just never ends, does it? The older our children the more complex issues we seem to face and the weight of our responsibility simply exhausts us. It is a job with constant deadlines and zero breaks. Do we acknowledge ourselves for it? No! We endlessly criticise ourselves, feeling crappy. Every day we completely empty our jar because of the way we failed our children. We feel so unhappy but all we know is to bribe them to fill it up with the sweets that truly belong to them.

Has anything clicked yet? Could it be the lid of your abandoned jar?

It all starts with the little things which together make up for a big change. Take small steps and have patience. Lots of i! Patience with yourself first and foremost out of self-love. Whenever you are patient with you, whenever you praise you, whenever you say ‘It is OK!’ whilst realising that you made a mistake, you are filling up that jar of yours. You are filling your heart with the love you so desperately need and absolutely deserve. In time you will manage to keep more in than you take out. Forgiveness, thinking encouraging thoughts, doing nice things for yourself every day, will in time become your new habit - a good, loving way you are with yourself.

Detox your body in a soothing bath whilst soaking your mind in relaxing music. Burn an incense when you get home from work to unwind and stimulate your senses. Smell the flowering bushes whilst walking through your neighbourhood. We buy expensive holidays abroad yet know little about the beauty of the area we live in for years! Cook delicious meals with unusual ingredients you’ve always wanted to try, light candles on your dinner table. Buy yourself flowers because you feel like it! Surround yourself with nice things. Move your body to keep fit. Dance! Take the trip high up on your bucket list. Try an interesting hobby. Read an inspirational book. Do what your heart desires! Smile at yourself in a mirror. Smile at complete strangers. Acknowledge yourself at the end of the day for just trying. Celebrate you! Socialise when you feel like it, with people who enrich your inner world. Talk to people who get you. Allow them to support your dreams! Take time out to reflect and ponder. Most importantly sometimes do nothing! Everything needs to switch off every so often, why not you?! Busyness is an illness of our society due to which we are out of balance. Out of shape mentally, emotionally and physically. Because we forgot how to talk sweetly to ourselves. We took too many love hearts out of our jar and forgot how to make ourselves smile...

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2018 Michaela Patel

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