I don’t know when we decided that taking care of ourselves first was being self centered however, it is a misdeed to ourselves and our children to confuse self centered with selfishness. Self centered behavior is when we take or get whatever we want without regard to the well being of another. When someone commits a crime i.e., robbery, murder, etc. These are actions that say, “I want what I want and I don’t care what it does to you or anyone else!” Ever hear someone say I am only hurting myself? Not true, as there are people who love us who get hurt when we hurt ourselves. Selfish is a word that people use when you are not taking care of yourself first. It is a form of manipulation that says what you were doing was working for me and now it is not working for me. We can’t set a healthy boundary and take care of another at the same time. We have to choose what is in our best interest and in the long run we are actually supporting others in doing the same! Self care is never a wrong choice, not ever. It frees other people to choose to take care of themselves as well, rather than leaning on us to be rescued.
Now what does this have to do with parenting? What is the greatest gift we can give to our children? Is it an education, a toy, a vacation experience? No the greatest gift we can give to our children is to show them how we take care of ourselves and living a happy life! When we take care of ourselves we are modeling behavior that they can model for themselves. When we choose gratitude we teach them the road to happiness is the road of attitude of gratitude. Children do not do what we say they do what we do!
Watch this amazing TED talk on mindfulness and ask yourself, what do I want my children to remember about me, about their own life choices? Do I want my legacy to be about what money could buy or how they lived their lives? What was the most important? Did I give them what they needed by being present? Or did they leave my life without a sense of what I truly had to give? It’s not too late to turn it around. Not as long as we are still breathing. Life is like a virus we can download misery or happiness. Everyday is a day full of unlimited possibilities for abundant love and happiness when we apply gratitude for each and every moment. Approach life with curiosity and see what happens!