Well there actually is a reason – and it is pretty good one…
As we grow up we get rewarded when we take care of others. And, when we take care of our own needs we are criticized (ok, some lucky ducks actually get a neutral response and on a rare occasion a child or two may be praised but this is a small minority.)
So here you are, a sweet little girl who naturally understands the value in caring for her own needs. But this natural desire is deeply discouraged. As a growing child the love of the people around you is core to feeling safe so you engage in the behaviors that elicit a positive response. Focusing on other people’s needs creates a sense of love and safety.
Through this process you learn that you are wonderful when you care for others and you risk love and approval when you take care of yourself.
Good=taking care of other people
Bad = Taking care of numero uno
Sounds pretty harsh right? Well before you head off to beat up the people that raised you just understand they were doing the best they could with what they knew. If you are a mother think back on the way you handle your own child (and if you are not a mother think about how you would handle these situations…)
Do you get really happy when your little precious tries to finish everyone’s dessert or when your little darlin does something nice for you?
Do you praise a child for running for the last available swing when his sister has already announced that is where she is headed or do you praise him when he gives up the swing to his heart-broken sister?
Raising children with a healthy sense of self-care is tricky business and even the best parents aren’t perfect.
So how can we restore our natural inclination to care for our needs? Simple: The same system that got us into this mess can get us out. When you take care of yourself, observe the world does not end and you are in fact still safe and loved then reward yourself. It is that simple.
Simple, not easy.
Having implemented this process with many clients I can tell you that the reward part of this system is often a stumbling block for many people. If you find that is the case enlist the help of a supportive friend or coach.
The Universe treats us the way we treat ourselves. All blessings grow from the love we have for ourselves. Treat yourself well and the Universe will respond in kind.