Back when I was in my early 20's, my best friend and I would spend hours primping before heading out to our destination for the night. Inevitably, after watching us for a while, her mother would shake her head in feigned disgust and mutter, "I love me, who do you love?" It was her way of telling us that we were ridiculously self-absorbed.
Now, years later, I will sometimes use this phrase in jest...usually after I've treated myself especially well. Since I have no days off, there are times when I will give myself a mini-vacation on a Monday afternoon and treat myself to acupuncture, a massage, and a great lunch before heading into work. Decadent? Perhaps. But I work really hard and deserve it. Also, if I can't take some time out to enjoy life, what's the point of it all?
As a healthcare provider, I also look at it this way: if I don't replenish myself regularly, both mentally and physically, I won't have anything left to give my patients. So, in a way, that reflexology session I had last week was actually an altruistic act :)
This whole topic has gotten me thinking about our hesitancy to do anything good for ourselves. Most people (well...except for the cheapies) have no issue with purchasing a gift for a loved one. Ask that same person when they last bought a gift for themselves, however, and wait for the response. Odds are, it's been awhile.
Why do we all tend to feel so guilty when we pamper ourselves? And why do people go out of their way to make us feel this way? When friends find out that I've spent my morning getting a massage, more often than not, I get an eye-roll in response. Since I don't actually feel guilty about it, this doesn't bother me. Still, though...why does an admission of self-care warrant judgment and negative reactions?
Most of us tend to treat ourselves worse than everyone else around us. Other people deserve things that we don't. We will easily forgive others for grievances that we refuse to forgive in ourselves. We obsess over things that we could have done differently...but if the situation had happened to someone else, we would immediately take their side and give them excuses for their oversights. Why do we tend to feel that we are not as worthy as everyone else?