Sometimes my arms hurt from tryin to lift people up and it’s ok.

I am basically a positive person and I try my best to exude that energy into the world the best that I can. I try to be a force for good not evil. I try to look at the bright side and find the silver lining no matter how well hidden. I have made it my personal mission to try to lift others up, especially during these stressful times in the last several months.

Don’t let me fool you. I know I make it look easy sometimes, but these efforts take significant mental and sometimes physical energy, more than I really have to spend if I am being completely honest. The rewards of making others feel good are amazing and I get a great deal of satisfaction from it. I wouldn’t trade my efforts for anything. However, I know that I need to work on embracing the idea that it’s ok to set some of my energy aside for myself. I have to realize that it is not my sole responsibility to uplift the world if no one else is going to. I have trouble convincing myself that it isn’t just a selfish gesture to make time for my needs when I have them. I have trouble realizing that, if I don’t take time for myself, I won’t have anything left to give to others. You would think that putting that spin on it would help me justify spending time on myself, but it doesn’t. I seem to categorize myself more as a caregiver for others than an independent individual with needs and wants. I actually feel a little guilty when I do something for myself. I get the same kind of guilty feeling when I have to say no to someone.

I am pretty sure that I am not alone in this kind of thinking. A lot of us have trouble with the concept of self care. But why? Why do we feel guilty? What’s wrong with saying no and setting boundaries? What’s wrong with some self preservation? I think the key is to not confuse self preservation with selfishness. We need to strike a balance between what we do for ourselves and what we do for others. Otherwise, we run the risk of having nothing left to give and no arms strong enough to lift. Have a great day everyone.

Dr. Katz