Tag Archives: self-care

Care and feeding of the Royal We

22 Aug

 

 

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It seems to be a trend (at least here in Florida amongst friends and colleagues) that people over 40 are “waking up” to the realization that we’ve taken care of the world (spouses,children, friends, children of friends) and all the while – neglected the most important person in our life – ourself!

 

Readers here are familiar with my journey of self-discovery, of learning to say no more often (instead of the altruistic and over-committed “yes”), and “putting on my own mask first.”  One of my biggest learning points to-date is that I am a unique and wonderful person worthy of the best that life has to offer – and furthermore, no one deserves love more than the Royal We (me, myself, and I).

 

This should be something that everyone on earth feels about themselves as well!  We all deserve unconditional love and respect from and for the Royal We – no matter what the rest of the world dishes out – in a healthy and non-narcissistic way that serves us AND the world.

 

This is an important point – a NON-NARCISSTIC way.  (For many years I was in a relationship with a spouse where I loved him, and he loved him… love of oneself to the entire exclusion of another you are in relationship with does not work!  We can love ourselves and love another – as separate beings in a healthy way.  In this post, I am simply talking about finding solace in loving and accepting yourself for the wonderful human you already are.)

 

Self-love did not come instinctively to me – or maybe it did at birth and then I overrode it with intensive training whereby value came only from serving others to the exclusion of myself – so I often find myself slipping back into old ways of putting others first.

 

For this reason, I put together a short checklist I call:

Care and feeding of the Royal We:

 

1. Remember that the Royal We can be tempermental and may not always agree on the best course of action.  Be kind and live with “integrity” and never, ever say anything to yourself that you would not say to a best friend.

 

2. Each person on earth has their own path to journey including the Royal We.  Respect that your own path is uniquely yours and yours alone.  Others may come and go along your path but you must remain steadfast and true to the truth known by the Royal We.

 

3. Wherever you go, there you are… with the Royal We.  Take care of both the emotional and physical health of the Royal We so that your time together can be as blissful as possible.

 

4. You are never alone when you are with the Royal We. Some people wake up to the realization that they have neglected themselves for a lifetime – learn that the Royal We are loyal, steadfast, caring, wonderful – and some of the best company you will ever meet.

 

5. You can be alone and not lonely, and lonely when you are not alone.  I wrote about this in the earlier post: Alone but not Lonely.

 

6. Others will try to put their own interests ahead of the Royal We and use guilt and coercion to make you abandon the Royal We.  Do not be swayed to give care to another before the essential needs of the Royal We are taken care of.  The one exception is dependent children who, at times, must take precedent.

 

7. Dedicate conscious alone time to be with the Royal We.  Do not allow others 24×7 direct access to the Royal We – put up healthy boundaries to protect the Royal We’s rights.  Take care to safeguard your rights to good sleep, healthy food, relaxation, quiet time, emotional space.

 

8. Do not stay where the Royal We are simply tolerated, instead go where they are celebrated!  Life is too short to be amongst those who simply tolerate you but make little attempt to understand, accept or celebrate the wonder of each one’s Royal We.  Once you understand the vast contribution possible through self-love of the Royal We, it is folly to simply accept the status quo of existence.  Find friends who are also healthy in self-love and create a healthy community of support and love!

 

The Royal We are not an end unto themselves, but rather a construct whereby emotionally healthy people can interact, relate, and create supportive, nurturing communities one person at a time.  Mastering self-love is the key to being able to generate love for others, and it is a critical first step to successful relationships beyond the Royal We.

 

Have a great week and don’t forget to celebrate yourself and your own Royal We!

 

Carol

 

 

Saying NO to saying yes – a Survival Guide

7 May

There are two types of people in the world – those who say “no” and those who say “yes” as a matter of upbringing, personality, habit, or need for acceptance.

Stereotypically, the people who say “yes” are women who were raised to go with the flow, be service-oriented, don’t rock the boat, and the best one – take care of others before you take care of yourself.  Many of us learned and believed that the latter was our lot in life playing a support role to the world.

One of the most powerful self-care words in the English language is the word “no” (even when your first inclination is to still say “yes”) because it allows one the space to consider our own wants and needs first (which is the way it always should have been) before accepting the needs of another to override.  Much of my adult life has been spent saying yes: yes to children, yes to a spouse, yes to volunteer roles, yes to school, yes to friends, yes to everyone – and, no to myself.

In some ways, it is dishonest (and poor communication) to say yes, when no is what we really need to say (to survive!)

Finally, having read enough survival guides, I realize that “no” is a critical survival technique that should be taught to girls (especially!) and boys everywhere – we only have one life and one person (me) who will take the care to make sure our needs are actually met.  Everyone else wants to make sure their needs are met first!

But for every opinion, there is someone who dissents…

It comes as no surprise that the number of opinions in society at least equals the number of blogs online (gazillions!), but today’s post from a blog I read weekly took me aback.  You can read it yourself by clicking on the image below:

WOW – how completely opposite!!!  (But not surprising when you consider the writer is male.)

When you read the outlined paragraph, it falls along the lines of how I believe that my generation (end of the boomers) in North Americans are raised: boys were raised to take care of themselves, and girls were raised to take care of – well – everyone (except themselves).

In other words females are raised to put others first (in John’s blurb above:  “What’s in it FROM me”) to our detriment.  As a habit, putting others first without consideration of how it will affect one’s own (mental, physical or emotional) health is sheer suicide!  As a matter of survival, saying “no” more often allows us to be 1. Honest with what we can or cannot do; and 2. survivors by saying (finally!) “what’s in it FOR me.”

Having grown up with three brothers, I also saw that the natural tendency was for boys to be raised with the right survival mechanism – in boy scouts the mantra was “be PREPARED” or in other words, take care of yourself first (what’s in it FOR me.)

Why is there gender inequality?  Who knows?  But the best way forward is for everyone (regardless of gender) to take care of their own needs first (see Put on your Own Mask first) so that NO is an option, and not rotely saying YES and regretting it.

What do you think?

Related posts:

I “no” you’ll find a way to have a good week!

Carol

 

 

Do nice people finish last?

7 Mar

There is so much contradiction in books and on the internet today about whether nice people finish first, middle, or last in life and in business.  What do you think?

I think that it all depends on the meaning of the word “nice” especially when it comes to taking care of yourself first.  So many of us were taught that being nice means putting others first – but that flies in the face of good self-care.  A counselor once told me that good self-care means taking care of yourself first whether that means at work or in our personal life.  This is not how many 40-somethings were raised to believe, and we need to change our attitude and our outlook!

The counselor reminded me that the people who get ahead in life are the ones who make noise – starting in the hospital nursery.  The babies who cried loudest and longest get the most attention and have their needs met ahead of others.  The more content babies did not get noticed and some even slept through while the demanding babies garnered the love and attention of nurses.

In business, we observe that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – those who self-promote, pontificate, forge ahead of others in line, and who demand attention get noticed more and promoted more.  The four-year-old prima donna behavior of “Look at me, look at me!” unfortunately seems to work when promotions are given out and bonuses are paid.

What about those who work well with others by cooperating, promoting their teams, and supporting co-workers – sometimes at their own expense. “Nice” people don’t stand out, and despite articles published that say the contrary, they can end up being invisible and overlooked while the brash, less considerate, and self-promotioning assertive people move ahead.  These people were the crying babies in the nursery who learned how to get their needs met early in life.

If you are a nice person and find yourself being left behind at work and in life, maybe it is time to examine how your behavior sabotages your own best interests.  It is never too late to learn how to set aside some of the seemingly “nice” behaviors that put others first and fail to get our needs met.  Only you can take care to make sure that your needs are met. No one else will put you first so you have to do it for yourself (and doing so ensures your survival!)

p.s., Take a moment out of your week to say thank you to a nice person today – they make our lives better just because they are who they are.  It is due time that they get ahead (finally!) for the niceness they bring to our world!

Carol

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