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We should always put others first…

No wait, that’s not right, is it?

We should put our own needs ahead of all others!

Okay, hold on a sec…now I’m really confused! Isn’t that just being selfish?

I suppose it could be…depends on what this means, I guess.

When we only think about ourselves, then yes, that’s selfish. Maybe even rude.

Yet if by taking care of ourselves, it gives us strength enough to be there for others, that’s totally different.

It’s about striking a balance and never veering too far in the wrong direction. And, balance takes practice.

Since my diagnosis of sarcoidosis, I struggle with guilt. Guilt is what puts me out of balance. I must be vigilant in order to keep guilt at bay.

Sleeping in or taking a nap feels self indulgent to me. I mean, shouldn’t I be more productive than that? And, saying I can’t do something feels like defeat, especially when others are counting on me.

But I really have no choice now but to take care of myself. My body won’t let me do otherwise because I get very sick, very quickly when I don’t.

So I am learning, slowly, but I am learning, that taking care of myself isn’t selfish. It’s self preservation. There is a big difference between doing what you need to in order to stay physically healthy and needlessly gratifying one’s self.

Preservation is protection.

Indulgence is a luxury.

There is nothing to feel guilty about in protecting one’s self.

Occasionally there is reason to feel guilty for indulging.

It’s all about balance.