How do we balance self care and selflessness? We probably need to know the definition of each term first and go from there.
Selfishness is the act of only thinking about oneself and always prioritize our needs over other people's.
Selflessness is precisely the oposite. It means to put other people's needs before our own.
Self care, on the other hand, is choosing to honor your inner wants and needs in order to fulfill your potential. To discover your purpose and experience joy.
The way I see it, self care and selflessness are not the same but are related to each other. You might ask, how? I think when we seek to fulfill our full potential, purpose, which sometimes we call calling, we can only discover more of ourselves and unlock levels of that potential and character when we experience selflessness. Acts of selflessness change us. They make us better. I might add, they complete us. There's an outpouring of wisdom from heaven when we practice selflessness that helps us see beyond what we regularly see.
To give you an example, there's a difference between visiting a foreign country only for touring than for a mission's trip (and to my not-raised-in-church friends, by "missions" I mean when you go with a religious organization to do community work and simply love on people). Yes, you might get to enjoy beautiful landscapes as well as architecture designs, get to taste delicacies, smell different and unfamiliar aromas and touch different fabrics. And even though that experience itself it's wonderful and it will open your mind, you would only have satisfied your senses and bring back only beautiful memories. When you give your time to people and experience different ways of living, thinking, acting, and even worshiping, you bring back change.
I would suggest to leave selfishness out of the picture. Thinking only about yourself will shrink your mind and heart. It will deprive you from a brighter future because you can't simply think outside the box with a selfish mentality.
Now, self care is necessary. A blind person cannot guide another blind person. The Bible teaches us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. It doesn't say more than ourselves. How can we navigate our self care while having a humble heart and care about other people at the same time? the Bible also teaches us that there's a time for everything. Self care requires lots of wisdom. Wellness is full of not so popular choices and decisions. Wellness means the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind. I would add to that, spirit. I'm pretty sure some of my readers will dismiss this post right about now...
I'll probably write about each branch of wellness in future blogs. It's a very interesting subject and very needed regardless of its popularity. However, I'll finish with this thought. Have you ever imagined that you could be selfish to your own self? It doesn't make any sense does it? But when we think about our choices and how some of them end up harming ourselves in stead of contributing to our well-being then we can all agree there's something wrong in the picture. There are probably other words to describe that behavior. We'll just leave it at that. This is the kind of investing on yourself that I meant in my previous post. You matter! So take care of yourself so you can also better serve others.
To be continued...