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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Remembering Yourself


The dilemmas of several clients in the past few days - intelligent, well-spoken, thoughtful, and caring individuals - reminded me just how easy it is to forget about yourself - or to even be aware of the fact that you should also be remembering yourself.

We are encouraged and taught - especially throughout our early process of socialization - to be kind and considerate, to think of others, and to be generous, such that some people - especially both those who walk down spiritual paths, or those who simply have a greater dose of kindness in the mundane sense of the word - find at some point in their lives that all they are doing is drifting in the wake of their own life. In other words, their life is happening to them, based on what they are doing for others, due to this element of caring. Somehow this element of caring has come to be the prism through which they live their lives. On those occasions in which they may have tried to move in other directions, they are flooded with guilt, for not continuing to do whatever it is they believe they must do for those they care about.

I'm not talking so much about blatant sacrifice, as about being there for others before you are there for yourself. Not remembering yourself, in other words.

I repeated to all of these clients - as I have repeated frequently over the years - the story of what flight attendants say while the plane taxies down the runway: if the barometric pressure should fall during the flight, an oxygen mask will drop down from the compartment above you. If you are traveling with children, please place your own mask in position before you help your children with theirs. We all understand this. If we aren't breathing, our children may die. So we need to take care of ourselves first.

This of course, can be applied to life in general. If you keep forgetting about yourself - if you aren't remembering that your inner well-being is an important part of the equation that makes you a better citizen, a better spouse, a better parent - then you will create a negative ripple effect that will affect all those whose lives come into contact with yours precisely because you are not remembering yourself. You are not taking care of yourself. And so even if you want to be kind and generous and do good things for others, and believe that you are doing the right thing, somewhere inside of you there will be a part that is clamouring for love and caring. Hence the negative ripple effect.

Bottom line: love yourself. And that means: love yourself first. Not selfishly. Not out of egotism. Loving yourself first means taking good care of yourself, so that you are better able to be there for others in a healthy way. You can't do that if you don't remember yourself.

All of my books refer to the importance of self-love, but The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, does so with great detail.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.


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