Be Yourself, and Only Yourself

a woman in harmony

A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing.
She goes where she will without pretense
and arrives at her destination
prepared to be herself and only herself.
-Maya Angelou

Selfishness vs. Self-Care

I do not trust people

Does this sounds like your marriage?

When your husband is tired or depleted, he takes a break to have fun, sleeps or has a snack.

But when you are tired or depleted, you keep pushing on, because people need you and there’s so much to be done.

And his ability to hit the “off” switch is driving you a little crazy. It just seems so … selfish.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here.

Men get very different messages about self-care than we do. They’re more at ease with the idea that they have to tend to their own needs as a part of basic self-maintenance.

As women, though, we’ve often internalized the idea that self-care equals selfishness. We’re taught to prioritize others to a fault. When we expect ourselves to have it all and do it all, it’s hard to fit down time into that vision.

This may sound counterintuitive at first, but you’ll be able to do more if you take your foot off the gas sometimes. You need self-care — rest, exercise, healthy food, time for yourself — to have the marriage, family and career you want.

If you find yourself irritated at your husband for sleeping in on Saturdays or taking his annual guys camping trip when your family is busy, your ire could be a reflection of how harsh and demanding you are being on yourself.

There’s a quote I love by the late Dr. Maya Angelou: “I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying, which is ‘Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.’”

Try this: Experiment with giving yourself a break for self-care. Be compassionate and gentle with yourself, remembering that you’re not being selfish.  Allow yourself to experience how good it feels to stop pushing and tend to your own needs for a while. Isn’t it a relief? Keep doing this, and you may see a shift in how you feel when your husband takes down time.