For a long time, I had it wrong. I thought I was selfish to want to spend money on myself, take time for myself, or basically do anything for ME. I thought that was selfish. I thought it meant I was putting myself before the other people in my life whom I love. My opinion has changed on this topic and here is why:

You cannot be the best version of yourself if you do not maintain yourself mentally, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. There is no reason for that order, they are all equal parts on the big pie that is life. If it means that you need to take a break and have someone watch the kids, clean your house, weed the garden, wash the car, or take care of some other task that’s bumming you out? DO. IT. If you suck at the gym and look like a guitar soloist on heroin every time you lift dumbbells (My trainer actually used this description of me TO MY FACE. Luckily, I have a sense of humor and laughed, Chris.) then hire someone (like Chris) to teach you proper form. If you have too much “noise” or “traffic” in your head (which is what I like to call the overwhelming full-headedness which occurs to me too often) then find someone to talk with about it: a friend, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, whomever, or you can journal. Whatever it takes to get it out of your head, so that you can be clear and present with those around you. God gave us those around us ON PURPOSE and FOR A REASON. Don’t waste this gift. Do you need to revisit the Big Guy (God) in your life? I’m not going to push you, but if you feel called to listen to that little voice inside you that talks to you all the time that you’ve been ignoring for a long time (like I was), then do it. Quiet yourself and listen. Look around you and see what life might be telling you. Time is at a premium in all of our lives. Don’t let it slide by. Take the time to live deliberately. Take the time to take care of yourself. This should be your gift to those around you. Once you “put on your mask, put the mask on your child”, just like they say on airplanes. You need to take care of yourself because others around you (especially if you have children) are watching and taking your example. What are you showing the world that you think of yourself? Make it good, because YOU ROCK. Make sure you have the resources to work toward these goals, then go for them. You deserve it. You would want these things for your children or friends right? Then why not yourself.? You have value. Do it.

There are all kinds of excuses. You are reading one of the masters of the b-s-ers who can come up with a good reason to not take care of herself right now. “I can’t ask for help because I should be able to do it all myself” should have been a tattoo on my forehead throughout my 20’s. I was a bionic machine doing everything and then some. Now that I’m 30, the game has changed a little. I realized that this plan doesn’t work. It’s selfish to play the victim and not step up to take care of yourself. You have people counting on you to be YOU. DO what it takes to be the happiest, healthiest, most well rounded you there is. Go. Now.

 Image Source {The girl is NOT ME, but I wanted to get this post out, and this picture was one I had on file that motivated ME toward this pursuit, so I thought I’d share it with you.}