Who else wholeheartedly believes in and advocates for self-care?
Encouraging others to recognize their own self-worth and value?
Promoting healthy healing and management of self?
Not just in the physical sense, but even more so in the psychological, mental health aspect of life.
These have become my life passions, so when I hear of someone who doesn’t know, doesn’t believe, or worse, is being manipulated into thinking or believing differently then the truth about themselves, it infuriates me like its nobody’s business.
Believe it or not, we were all created and divinely designed to care for ourselves, FIRST, regardless of how selfish that may sound.
Otherwise…well let’s just say that “we are no good to others, when we are no good to ourselves.”
What can an empty cup offer to someone dying of thirst?
Same goes for an empty heart and an empty soul.
How can one truly live a life of genuine love and care for others if they don’t genuinely love and care for themselves?
Better still, how can one truly express the characteristics of love when they are tired, worn, stressed, angry, hungry, confused, discouraged, exhausted, offended, or ill? Those things can wear a person down and make it really difficult if not impossible, to show genuine love.Some assume that we should always be in a serving, giving, and pouring out mode, but in actuality, that is not completely accurate, nor is it healthy for anyone. While we are definitely encouraged “to serve rather than be served” (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, John 13:1-17), “to give more than we receive” (Acts 20:35) and to “be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2), the recoup time from a life spent burning the candle on both ends… well it’s a lifestyle that will very quickly and sometimes quite drastically take its toll on the human body, mind, and soul. One who lives that way for too long will eventually be left with nothing for themselves at the end of the day, much less have anything left to offer to others .
So why are we so quick to take offense with people who are clearly operating in survival mode, not showing themselves enough love and self-care? They are still valuable people even if they can’t do anything for us! Living in survival mode creates deep wounds that are hard to overcome even after ones status has changed. Trauma is a nasty beast to contend with and Move On from. We should NEVER devalue an individual’s trauma just because we are over it!
I’ve been there, done that, and was made to learn this fact of life the long, hard way, so I am speaking from personal experience.
I literally spent over 9 years of my life, just “resting” (Matthew 11:28-30) and “being still” (Matthew 46:10) and then learning to put my life back into balance and sync with divine order (Proverbs 3:5-8) while recouping from the mess and madness that I created for myself before I learned the art of self-care and complete surrender.
Self-care, self-worth, self-esteem and self-love are all different elements of development in personality. Although “self” is involved in each of these aspects, they are each their own individual component, with variations in degree and dynamic within every person. Love and care and development of self can be a tricky slope to climb and can ultimately cause one to venture too far off into the unhealthy end of the spectrum if one is not careful. So balance and focus are truly key!!!
In today’s fast-paced, social media driven culture, one can quite easily and very quickly get caught up in the mode of projecting “self” to the world, regardless if it’s their real self or perceived self. It’s actually how “selfies” got their brand. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when “what you see is not always what you get”. Because what you see on social media may look and sound real and authentic, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so, in fact most times it’s the complete opposite.
The selfie epidemic inadvertently created an even uglier monster, the “response” or “comment” beast which sometimes opens up opportunities for great dialogue, but at the same time is known for creating so much division and opposition in our world. With trillions of #hashtags to prove it.
Responding or reacting first, then thinking or evaluating second has become the social media norm-of-the-day. Some do it on impulse without hesitation, and often without even realizing that their words or actions could be causing more harm than good, even well-meaning individuals fall victim.
I am certainly one guilty of shooting off at the mouth before loading my brain, or reacting to a situation prematurely only to fall flat on my face after-the-fact, so I am once again, speaking from personal experience and am not here simply to point fingers.
But why is it that we are now a people who hear not with the intent to listen or understand, or even to empathize, but to respond?
Why do we instantly and almost automatically assume that a response is even needed, especially ours?
Why are we so inclined to begin forming our own words and opinions about a matter the very second we hear, read, or see it? and then post our biased opinions for the world to see. God forbid someone disagrees, that’s a whole other can of worms…
Have we become so self-centered, self-righteous, maybe even narcissistic in our ways of dealing with the things of this world that we think it’s our place to always say something about everything?
Well since we brought up that subject, did you know studies show that 1 in 16 Americans suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and that the numbers have jumped drastically since the 1990’s, and are continually climbing with each passing year, transforming us into a nation of egomaniacs (Campbell & Twenge, 2013).
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an excessive, distorted and elevated sense of self and self-importance, with a lack of empathy or genuine regard for others. Narcissist have an extreme need for extensive admiration, likely triggered by their low self-esteem. People with this condition believe that they are superior, but are quite easily identifiable within a family, social, or professional setting, often being described by others as vane, self-centered, conceited, arrogant, overly demanding, and very manipulative (APA, 2012). The unfortunate fact of the matter is, the large majority of narcissistic individuals refuse to acknowledge their condition, resulting in far too many going untreated because of this.
The question I’ve been contemplating and one that we all really need to be asking ourselves today is,
Am I, 1 of those 16?
If so, what am I doing to correct or treat the issue? According to the experts, only 39% of the 9% diagnosed actually receive treatment, and of those in treatment, 70% stop treatment before they are finished. It is unknown how many are under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed.
So much more can be said in regards to this particular condition and the epidemic that we now face within our society as a result. But I will save all of those logistics for my research paper, while strongly recommending that you go do a little research of your own concerning this serious issue. It will shock you, or at least should.
If we are not 1 of the 16, we still need to take personal inventory and examine ourselves daily and hold ourselves accountable to a reasonable standard of humanity, as researchers now know and have proven that both Genetics AND Environment contribute to many conditions and illnesses (Moore, 2017), including Narcissism and many other personality and behavioral disorders.
Are our ways of thinking, behaving, responding or commenting appropriate?
Are our ways, whatever that may look like, contributing to society and impacting others in a good, positive, and uplifting way?
Or are we inadvertently or intentionally (narcissistically) elevating ourselves and our own agenda at the cost of undermining the status of others that we have to share this world with?
Ahhhh, yes, the world…another beast to conquer, but we can only help our world by working on and changing ourselves…