I Dare You

Person holding up a prism in their hand. The image reflected in the prism is a small rectangular sliver of their face.
Photo Credit: @vincefleming

Excerpt of a poem from my journal:

Dear-One

You have exalted everyone, except yourself.

Please notice how that has not brought you any closer to your purpose and light.

It is not vain to call out your most beautiful and honest qualities. After all you have been obsessed with finding the best qualities in everyone except the soul that already inhabits your body. This is not doing anyone any favors.

Please, dear one, I beg you…for there is no one else that can love you better than you.

I dare you to spend a whole day doing nothing but complimenting yourself.

-Britta Muldoon

Why is it so hard to see the good in ourselves? On top of that why is it so hard to proclaim it?

In a conversation with a mentor yesterday I was asked “When did selfishness become a bad thing?” I was stopped in my tracks. I have always considered the word “selfish” to be a quality that should be avoided. I have spent my life being a pathological giver. When I gave beyond my capacity, I was praised for being selfless. The truth is I was not being selfless. It is impossible to be selfless if you do not know or take ownership for who your “self” is.

Brene Brown has said that “You cannot be empathetic with someone if you do not know where you begin and where they end.” Without a sense of self, we cannot engage authentically in the world. If we are continually over giving of our time, attention and resources we are not taking responsibility for ourselves and our own needs.  When we do not take responsibility for our own needs, we force others to do it for us, which I would wager is the more “selfish” action. There can be no selflessness without selfishness.

Selfishness or focusing on my own needs is very hard for me. It is easier to be a fixer for people around me than for me to pause in introspection. When I focus on myself it is uncomfortable and foreign. I have been trying to be more intentional about the time I give myself to focus on my needs and desires. I have noticed recently that my “selfish” time of introspection has been the most fruitful time in my day and has allowed me to show up for others in ways I was not previously capable of. I am learning that it cannot be a luxury to focus on myself. I am learning that it is essential. You might be thinking “well that’s great, sweetheart, but I don’t have time to focus on myself.” I get it, you are being pulled in 1000 different directions and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

I get overwhelmed by needing to make changes in my life even when I do have time. I need to take baby steps in the direction of understanding my needs. Self-love is such a difficult concept to grasp. Self-love isn’t overindulgence. Self-love isn’t getting anything we want and doing anything we want. Self-love or self-care is taking responsibility for the energy that we need. Self-love is asking yourself…”what do I need to be my most whole self today?”

When I am trying to learn something new, I need to start small otherwise I won’t even get started. So, let’s start small with the joy and responsibility of self-love:

I dare you to spend the whole day doing nothing but complimenting yourself!

Published by Britta Muldoon

I am a 30 something artist/maker, marketer, dancer and avid food enthusiast.

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