Why Are We So Miserly Towards Ourselves?
We are rational enough to know our limits, yet we never love ourselves the way we must.
“It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson
Setting: An apparel store.
Me: Do you like that top?
Friend: Yes, I do, but I am not sure if I should take it.
Me: If you like it, then why think so much about it?
Friend: I am wondering if I need this right now.
Me: Oh, shut it already. I am buying this for you. You deserve to be pampered.
Setting: Me alone at an apparel store for some retail therapy.
Me (in my head): This seems nice. Hmm, maybe I should buy this.
No, wait. I don’t need this. I instead spend on something worthwhile.
But this feels so comfy; let me buy this. No, wait, maybe next time when I save a bit more.
And when I am home, I tell myself….
Me: Damn, I should have bought it.
Sounds familiar? We are so generous towards the people we love. But when the tables are turned, we come up with innumerable excuses to not buy something. We feel that we don’t deserve this. We think that buying something would mean a waste of money. But if we were to give someone the same thing, we wouldn’t think twice.
The joy of giving is so much more than the joy of receiving. We all have felt this at some point in our life. But giving ourselves something is a phenomenon we don’t accept quickly as we think we don’t deserve it.
You see, we all have dealt with life’s tough battles that instil in us countless life lessons. These lessons shape our self-esteem and our values. During tough times, we interact with people who understand our plight and help us navigate turbulent times. We don’t prioritize our well-being through it all, as we are conditioned to get others help first. Our necessities can be taken care of some other time. But does that time ever arrive?
Self-love — Selfish or a Necessity?
Over time we put our needs on the back seat. We want to ensure that the people around us feel safe and happy. But is thinking about our happiness selfish or a necessity?
Often, we feel burnt out just being there for others. We do it because we love our family and friends, but everything has a limit, and soon we feel worn out. The only way to survive is first to fill up our fulfilment tank, which only happens when we start taking care of ourselves.
It was then I decided that feeling guilty for pampering myself adds more misery. You see, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, and we are rational enough to do things within our limits. Yet, we question our actions so much that we forget to live.
It’s about time to take some time out for ourselves and do the things we have put on hold because we had to keep up with other priorities.
Because one thing that I learnt in these couple of years is that we may give our everything to ensure others’ sanity, but at the end of the day, we cannot expect others to protect ours. The responsibility of loving ourselves solely lies on us, and thus it is our right to feel loved, pampered and cared for more often than once.
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