Why Is It So Hard To Be Good To Ourselves?

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I have always taken care of people. Even as a child, I was the little mother, who took care. It wasn’t that I was raised that way or made to take care for anyone, I just was that way. I took after my  mom,  who was the same way.  As I got older, I took care of my friends and in later years, I was a caregiver to both of my parents. When my dad had cancer, I took care of him because my mom was too frail and I didn’t want her to have to do too much. When my mom became ill and developed dementia, I took care of her and both of them died at home, which I was always grateful for. I could take care of them until their last moments.

The day my mom passed away, the Hospice nurse (they are angels on earth!) told me, “You’ve taken excellent care of your mother and now it’s time to take care of yourself.” Well, this didn’t happen. About six months after this, my best friend got a divorce and felt desperate and alone. To make a long story short, she moved to where I am and had some mental problems. I ended up taking care of her. She and my brother got together and he unexpectedly passed away seven months ago, leaving me with no more family at all. Her daughter took her back to live in another state. She passed away a couple of months ago, again unexpectedly. All of this was a life altering shock and left me deep in despair and anxiety.

Now I am desperately trying to recover and I know that I have to take care of myself. I’m used to taking care of people…so why is it so hard to do it for myself? I realized the other day that I am not as good to myself, not as forgiving, caring, or gentle as I am with other people. Does this sound familiar to you? Are you, too, one of those who can’t seem to take care of yourself as well as you do others?  Why is it so hard to be good to ourselves?

Why are we so hard on our poor souls? I know I am very critical of  myself and I’ll bet you are too. I can’t give myself the same hope I gave to  others. I try, but too often I end up feeling more hopeless and trying to fight the negative thoughts in my head…all the “what ifs” and  “what am I going to dos.” I think there is an element of feeling selfish to think only about myself. Then I remember that I’m all alone now and so it’s ok to think about just me for a change. I have to to survive. But it is turning out to be a long, hard lesson to learn. Sometimes I think I don’t care as much about myself as I do others. I keep reading that you have to love yourself. Why is it so hard to do?

If you feel the same way, please leave me a comment. It helps to know you’re not the only one who has a problem and it  is my deepest hope that anyone reading my blog feels less alone.

Take good care of yourself…you have my permission. Love yourself as much as you love others.



  • By Jay Sis, March 30, 2015 @ 12:36 am

    I am exactly like you. I am trying my hardest to be nicer to myself which includes standing up to people who cross the line with me. Sigh. Everyday is a struggle for me to make life beautiful for myself. Many times I have to practice NOT helping anyone because I know I will fall into the habit of being completely selfless.

  • By Sheila, March 30, 2015 @ 4:49 am

    Ah, that’s a good point! We have to be careful that we don’t help others so much that we lose ourselves. Being good to ourselves is a struggle every day and it shouldn’t be, but it is. You have a good grasp on it though, so hang in there. Thanks for your comment.

  • By LorissaLeigh, September 29, 2015 @ 10:13 am

    I really struggle with this, too! I think its about pushing through the weird feelings that “this is uncomfortable, this is not my norm..” and just doing a small thing everyday that is just to be good to myself. Not something that feels like a chore, and not something that is indulging in a external source of comfort (like pigging out on cookies.. ahem, ahem 😉 ) Right now i’m just practicing giving myself a little time every day to fill up on things that make me feel good, like reading this blog, of a kindred spirit <3 communicating with an online community of like-minded folks, journaling, reading, etc. Thank you for being this ray of light, shining in dark places, Sheila. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • By Sheila, September 30, 2015 @ 6:02 am

    LorissaLeigh, thank you so much. I’ve never been called a “ray of light” before and it made my day. You are so on the right track, with doing a small thing every day to be good to yourself. I read a lot too and visit so many blogs that make me feel better. And I also pig out on cookies once in awhile…haha. Thanks for reading and commenting. Much love to you.

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