Brené Brown explains this might have to do with self-worth. “When you attach a negative value to receiving help, then you’re really assigning value when you offer it”. So, it seems that we attach value and self worth to being the giver.
However, receiving is equally important as giving, as explained by the Law of Giving and Receiving* which states that the Universe operates through dynamic exchange. Giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.
And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.
“…because when you receive, not only do you affirm your own worthiness and open the way for more, but you make possible even greater joys for the giver.”
What does it have to do with self-care? Well, here’s the catch in this case: we are the givers and the receivers. Giving ourselves what we need is a form of receiving. Read that again, please.
The phrase “You cannot pour from an empty cup” might sound familiar but, in a world that is more demanding and challenging than ever, we still have difficulty taking time for ourselves and making self-care a priority.
When we are under pressure and stressed out, self-care is often the first thing we let go of. Our brains go into fight-or-flight mode, narrowing our perspective. We get stuck in “doing mode” and forget that, in essence, we are human “beings”. If this is sustained over time, we can become sick.
For many of us, it often takes a sickness or even a burnout, to persuade us to give ourselves the time and care we need. This is why self-care is not self-indulgence, but self-preservation.
It is good to remember that self-care needn’t be fancy nor unrealistic, and that it doesn’t look the same for everyone. That’s OK.
However, we all have an inner “toolbox” we can rely on at any given time. Our bodies know how to restore balance naturally if we allow them to do so. Listen to the signals and make a conscious choice to weave in some wellbeing supporting practices in your daily routine: nurture your body, sleep enough, move, work on your emotional wellbeing and meditate. And make a point of taking time off when needed.
In order to be able to truly serve others, we need to replenish ourselves equally.
We don’t block the universal flow of energy, do we?
*The second of the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success described by Chopra in the book of the same name.