In my opinion, we are at a perfect time in our evolution to begin shifting from a “Me-centred” world to a “We-centred” one. Despite being taught such lessons as it’s better to give than to receive, and take care of others before you take care of yourself, we are not yet the caring, compassionate and peaceful world that we could be.
It is my belief that in order to move to a more “We-centred” world we must begin by taking better care of ourselves and learning how to feel good about who we are. In other words, we must feel good about the Me before we begin to move our focus to the greater We. In order to do this, we should begin by finding and eliminating the source of stress in our lives, achieving balance, practicing self-love, and letting go of harmful beliefs. We also need to learn how to slow down our minds and shift away from the fears in our lives.
Once we have really focused on putting ourselves first, then and only then will we begin to feel more self-confident, self-assured and full of self-love that we can then turn toward the greater We. Once we have learned to love ourselves more, we will become more tolerant, understanding and loving of others. We will want to give back to the world because we’ll feel so abundant and full of love. This is how the shift from Me to We begins. And in so doing, we help our whole planet become a better place.
If we are to adopt this philosophy then we must let go of the belief that taking care of Me is selfish. I am a firm believer that we cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves. If we are going to genuinely care about others then we first must care about ourselves.
As I embarked upon my journey of “self-discovery” I realized that the reason I had been giving so much to others was in hopes that they would like me. I constantly sought recognition from others. I believed that the more other people liked me, the more I would like myself. I discovered that was not the case. No matter how much positive feedback I received I still didn’t feel good enough. I came to the realization then, that it was most important for me to like me! And so, I began to take care of myself as if I was the most important person in my world. I began to make choices that allowed for more balance in my life. I insisted that I schedule time each week for activities that made me feel happy.
Interestingly enough, through my work as a coach I have come across people who genuinely feel that they do not deserve to be happy. Their upbringing was such that they were left feeling totally insignificant and unworthy of happiness.
So, I guess the first step in taking care of yourself is ensuring that you truly believe you are worthy of being happy in your life. Once you have accepted that belief, you can begin to find the things in life that make you happy. Please keep in mind that these things will change as your life evolves. What made you happy last year may not make you happy now. Find the things that make you feel happy now, and incorporate them into your schedule no matter how much you have on the go. You may have to get over the fact that you were taught that such behaviour is selfish or a waste of time.
In the beginning, you may have to say “no” to others in order to make time for you! But, I can assure you that it will eventually lead to you saying “yes” more often, and really feeling good about it.
I have come across people who have become so absorbed by performing well and working hard, that they aren’t really sure what makes them truly happy. These people are often so caught up with thinking that they have lost touch with how to feel. Happiness is about feeling, not thinking. What makes you feel truly happy?
As I began to take better care of myself I began to establish rituals that helped me feel good. The choices you will make in your life will be different than mine, but I truly believe they will have the same effect. I started having a massage each week and I began waking up early to allow for quality alone time in which I read, meditated and wrote in my journal. I started to seek alternative health modalities to heal some of my physical, emotional and spiritual issues. I began to eat better, drink more water and exercise more. I took the time to reflect on things in my life instead of always being in a hurry to think of what I could do next. I focused more on the present moment and stopped thinking about the future whenever possible. I took the time to listen to quiet music and just appreciate it. I took the time to sit in silence and quiet my thoughts. I began to commune more with nature and discovered photography, a hobby I truly enjoy. Prior to beginning to really take care of myself, I was always too busy doing things that I thought were important and never had time for a hobby. I began to think about my beliefs in life and started to examine if they truly served me or whether I simply accepted them because I had been told to. I became more conscious of the choices in my life. I chose not to watch TV and I gave up listening to or watching the news. I stopped being my worst critic and having such high expectations of myself. I forgave myself for the mistakes I made in my life.
And then something quite miraculous happened. As all of these new habits and rituals began to take hold I started to relax and enjoy life more. I even started to like myself more, to the point that I really liked the “Me” that I had become. I began to feel happy more of the time. I cannot say that my life was perfect every moment (I believe that is an unrealistic expectation), but I began experiencing more happy moments than moments of stress or frustration.
And what really struck me was that the more I liked myself, the more it appeared others liked me. I began getting the recognition and appreciation that I had been seeking for so much of my life once I stopped looking for it altogether. It simply appeared to be a by-product of Me liking Me.
It turned out that as I continued to like myself more and more I began to like and accept others without judgement. I was no longer bothered by some of the traits and characteristics in others that had so often made me feel so frustrated. I became more accepting, understanding, compassionate and caring. When I wasn’t so concerned about me and my problems and issues, I seemed to have so much more time for other people. The more gentle and caring I was towards myself, the more gentle and caring I became towards others. Now I genuinely cared about others, whereas in the past, I did “good deeds” out of a sense of obligation.
What I learned was that by taking care of Me I became so much more interested in the We. One day as I was thinking about this wonderful transformation in my life, I realized that if you allow the M in Me to open up, it becomes the W in We. How appropriate that Me and We are really the same, except me begins with an M that is closed and we begins with W that is open.
So, as we take care of Me and begin to love and nurture the person within, then and only then can we open ourselves up to the world and become the greater We. Can you imagine a world where we all feel so good about ourselves that we give up trying to control each other, compete with each other and overpower each other and move to become a world that encourages each other, cooperates with each other and empowers each other? That’s the world I want to live in. How about you?