Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Am I Practicing Self Care or Being Selfish?

Can self care become selfishness? How do we keep ourselves in balance?

Self care is an important part of our recovery effort. We learn to care for ourselves. We set effective boundaries, avoid the drama of others, stay balanced and keep ourselves from becoming overwhelmed in the face of lifes challenges. We practice discernment, use our tools to cope effectively, and in the process increase our self esteem.

As we begin to practice self care and learn to set effective boundaries we change. That change brings discomfort to our partner. We are no longer willing to do things that our partner can and should do for themselves. As a result, we begin to receive change back messages from our partner. This is their response to the stress our changes bring into their life. We exercise patience, showing our partner our committment to our recovery and allowing them the time to catch up. We use discernment to detect when we are being drawn into the drama of others, keeping ourselves in balance. When we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed as a result of the strength of our emotions, we use our tools to bring ourselves back into balance, recognizing that we cannot effectively help our partner to cope when we ourselves are overwhelmed.

As long as our self care is focused on achieving balance for the purpose of being able to be emotionally present in our relationship with our partner, as well as for our overall health, we will be practicing self care and not selfishness. When we allow our defense mechanisms and fear to control us, we lose sight of healthy boundaries and begin to focus too much on ourselves and our issues. When that happens too often, we may fail to be emotionally present for our partner and our relationship. We cannot be centered at all times, but we can strive for balance in a consistent manner.

During our growth and change our partner may feel unsure of our relationship. We take the initiative, reaffirming our love and devotion to both our partner and our relationship, allowing our partner to take these new patterns of interacting in stride. We recall that change creates discomfort and unease and give our partner plenty of time and the space necessary to adapt.

As we walk our path of recovery we find that we take three steps forward and two back testing our resolve and misstepping frequently. We will learn slowly, carefully, in our own time, how to maintain balance without seeming insensitive or too self involved. Recovery may not be easy, but we find that the rewards are well worth the effort as we feel our self esteem grow stronger day by day.

No comments:

Post a Comment