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Self Care is Self Respect

I’m terrible at self-care, absolutely terrible at it. There’s a good chance that it’s my worst quality. As a wife, mom, business owner, daughter, and friend [insert a hundred other titles here] there is always someone else who is more deserving of my time and attention than me.

The saddest part is, I know I’m not alone. As you read the rest of this post I’m sure there will be at least one thing here that makes you think “me too”. I’m going to tell you what a good friend told me when she saw that I was running myself into the ground about 3 years ago. I pray it hits you right between the eyes like it did me.

She said, “Linds, self-care isn’t about taking naps and baking pies or even soaking in a bubble bath- those things are nice but true self-care is about creating a life you don’t have to escape from. Self-care equals self-respect.” I’m going to say that last part again…

self-care

True self-care is about creating a life you don’t have to escape from. Self-care is self-respect.

Now here’s the shocking part…sometimes in order to create this dream life you have to do that thing you least want to do. Wait, what? But that won’t feel good and isn’t self-care supposed to make me feel good? I thought the same thing at first. But as we talked it out I realized that I needed to make a short-term sacrifice in order to accomplish long-term happiness. Sure it was going to be hard and maybe a little painful but the reward was absolutely worth it.

Here is a brief story on what my self-care looked like. My husband and I had a family member that was toxic to us. For years they stirred up drama with us and for years my husband would beg me, “Just let me handle it.” I knew what “handle it” meant. It meant a goodbye forever. To a family member. For years I said no to him and I made excuses for the one person that was causing us pain.

When push finally came to shove and I was at my breaking point my friend’s words rang true in my ears “self-care is self-respect.” As hard as it was to unleash my husband, I can honestly say I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Hard weeks followed our decision but we stood our ground together and are better for it.

When the dust settled, a weight was lifted that I didn’t even know I was carrying. Now three years later we are truly happy and drama free. Anyone who has had to make a tough decision to remove toxic people from their life knows what I’m talking about.

So, you see, self-care isn’t about naps and bubble baths it’s about creating a life that you don’t want to escape from. Maybe for you it’s telling a friend that you’ve outgrown the party scene, or maybe it’s distancing yourself from that coworker that’s a Debbie-Downer, or maybe it’s saying no to that piece of wedding cake that beckons to you every weekend, or maybe self-care looks a lot like skipping to the beat of your own drum and not apologizing for it – true self-acceptance.

Whatever self-care looks like for you I hope you stand firm during the hard season to see the beauty that lives on the other side. Comment below with one small way you can start implementing a better sense of self-care in one area of your life.

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