Some parents and spouses lack altruism so much that they bruise, affect, and destroy generations. Let's not focus our energy on them—that's a whole different article. It's the mighty moms, inspiring dads, super-wives, unparalleled husbands, outstanding daughters, and big-hearted sons that go above and beyond for their loved ones. They work at pleasing those around them, tending to their families and oftentimes they forget about themselves. Simply put, because things for us givers are rarely simple, you've got to be kind to yourself. With all this nurturing, are you taking time to attend to yourself? "Sometimes you don't realize you're actually drowning when you're trying to be everyone else's anchor."
Selflessness The How-To to Selfishness
Jasmine Nehilla Contributing Writer
e have selflessness pouring out of us. We will give our very last without hesitation. We keep others at the forefront of all considerations and plans. We wipe up an exposition of colors— green-gray-blue poop—seriously who knew poop came in so many colors? Chunky orange-hued vomit, crimson fluid gushing out of orifices or gashes, yellow and olive snot rockets, clear elephantine tears—we clean a rainbow of… honestly I don’t even know if there’s an encompassing word to describe what discharges from the human body. We provide tenderness when the day has been far from tender. We stand by disturbed, distressed, and dismayed at limb-flinging tantrums and misdirected emotions. And it’s all just a day’s work. Being a wife is hard. You thought I was talking about parenting there didn’t you? HA! I was—but let’s not act like some days the duties of being a parent extends to our significant others. In all seriousness, parents and spouses are naturally some of the most selfless people among us. Now, before you slay me with the "I disagree(s) and I can't relate(s)," of course not all parents and spouses apply.
Finding a balance between selflessness and selfishness keeps relationships healthy. Selfish is a word that stains; have you ever called someone selfish? I have. I didn’t deliver it with the intentions of malice; I was plainly being honest. “You’re so selfish.” It lingered in the silence that followed my proclamation—and I swallowed my “I’m sorry,” because apologizing would negate the gravity of the fact, she was indeed selfish. But I could tell it stung. Selfish is never something that we want to be—especially when someone else is pointing it out. When you visit the opposite end of the spectrum—selflessness—no one is going to convict you for being generous or thoughtful. They will continue to solicit your care and you’ll keep giving with no attention paid to your holistic well-being. If you want to continue to give light to others, you have to glow yourself or you'll burn out.
...to give light to others, you have to glow yourself or you'll burn out. What does self-care even look like? Honestly, the words "selfcare" have become a fad, sprawled across magazine headlines and Pinterest boards as a consumer buzzword. If you buy the limited edition Lush bath bomb or try the newest manicure gel polish that lasts until eternity, it's evidence that you practice self-care. It's been promoted as yet another thing for women to be good at—along with cooking, cleaning and "smiling more often." I’m not saying if a mani-pedi is your way to decompress, you're doing it wrong. I'm not saying to dismiss the "51 Ways to Practice Self Care" articles either, especially when they list taking a walk, get more sleep, fold into the (rare)stillness, or my favorite—soak in a bubble bath. I am saying the self-care you may require may be deeper than an occasional cloud watching session, a daily oil pull, or a trip to the nail salon. (cont. on pg. 15)
Article image (above) by Tatiana Camice. See more of Tatiana’s work at tatianacamice.com