by Lisa A. Romano
Self-love and self-compassion are required in order to live a joyful life.
Appropriate Self-love is not selfish. Self-love that is malignant is the type of love that exists at the expense of others and is exploiting of others. Those who are uncomfortable with us setting boundaries might accuse us of being selfish, once we start saying, “Hey, knock it off”, and we might wonder if we have a right to be self-loving when someone is suggesting we should not honor our selves and we should instead honor what they want instead.
Imagine the friend who wants you to go out drinking and you just don’t want to. Imagine them berating you and suggesting you’re selfish for not wanting to hang out.
Or imagine the spouse who wants to try a threesome and you’re not into it. Imagine being judged and criticized for not caring about the needs of your spouse who wishes to engage in this type of activity.
In each case, where are you? Where is your reality? Where are your opinions, emotions, wants, and needs?
In healthy relationships, both parties needs, wants and opinions are considered, weighted and decisions are made out of mutual respect and understanding. In unhealthy dynamics, there is only room for one reality.
Learning to set boundaries is one of the most challenging things we can do, for so many reasons, which is why it is so important to practice logic and reasonable thinking.
If you are loving the self by taking care of you, and you are not exploiting, berating, judging, or condemning others, and you are simply learning to soothe your own emotions and are learning to self-care, while on the road to emotional sobriety, you are not being selfish, but that does not mean someone who is used to you catering to their needs will agree with you.
Codependents are accustomed to folding when someone outside of them wants them to do what they want them to do. We fear others anger, criticism, and abandonment. Being abandoned is akin to death, for many of us and emotionally manipulative people will use any trick in the book to try and get others to think, feel, and behave as they think they should.
On the road to recovery, do what you can to check yourself to make sure you are loving the self in a healthy way. We all stumble and we all fall. We all struggle with finding the boundary line and with telling our truth. We all fear hurting someone else’s feelings and with feeling rejected and abandoned, but, as we grow into self-accountability and self-reliance, through the confronting of our codependency, we move more into an abundant and peaceful mindset.
Detangling from enmeshed Codependent thinking, in my humble opinion, is some of the most difficult introspective work anyone could ever do.
I salute all who are on the path to self-actualization. It is NOT an easy road to learn to take total responsibility for the self🙏😇❤️