photo (4)Might as well face it, I’m addicted to… putting myself last.  Ugh!  It’s true. I have an automatic response pattern that causes  me to feel like I have to make sure everyone is taken care of  before I can take care of myself.  As much as I hate to admit it, I feel guilt when I tend to my own needs and wants.  It doesn’t mean it stops me from doing what I want and need, it just means I’m aware of the saddle bag of guilt that I lug around when I go and do what I want to do.  And I’m tired of it.

Things came to a head for me this past weekend.  For my birthday my husband bought me some luxurious Manitobah Mukluks.  You know the kind Prince William and Princess Kate were given for their son Prince George.  I loved them instantly.  They had the essence of me written all over them.  And then…I said, “I think we should return them.”  As soon as the words popped out of my mouth I regretted it.  Why would I say that?!

Well, I started thinking that I should (that damn word) return them and spend more money on others for Christmas.  It felt more natural to spoil others instead of myself.  I know, I know…yuck!  But I am just playing witness to this automatic response to take less for myself and leave more for others.  And as I observed it and poked it, I started wondering where this response pattern originated.  I wondered too if men have the same automatic response.  When you boil it right down, I wondered if it was because I’m culturally programmed to be more comfortable giving than to receive as a woman.   And yet biologically and traditionally it is women who are meant to receive and men who are meant to give.   Isn’t that a pickle!

I’ve watched my husband receive some pretty spectacular presents and his response…gratitude.  Not guilt, not an internal struggle to accept the gift of love but a simple acceptance and joy in receiving a beautiful gift.  So, what’s the difference here?  Is it a gender issue?  Is it a mother thing?  An image plays itself over and over in my mind of an exhausted, self-sacrificing woman who’s given everything to her family.  She cooks, she cleans, she nurtures and she tends to their every need.  She takes little to no time for herself or for her own pleasure.   She’s usually too exhausted.

If she’s cooking breakfast and one of the egg’s flops, she takes the dud and serves her family the “good ones”.  My question is why?  Why is motherhood or womanhood equated with chronic selflessness?  And better yet, why the heck is this celebrated?  Shouldn’t we have boundaries and limits for ourselves?  Shouldn’t we be on equal playing ground as our own family members?  Aren’t we worthy enough for a good egg?

I struggle in the fact that we celebrate and appreciate a woman who has given down to the bone and left little or nothing for herself.  Sometimes when I read obituaries and they tote about a woman’s selflessness, I feel a sharp pang in my gut.  I don’t consider that a good thing.  I don’t want to celebrate a way of being that I believe is self-harming and perpetuating a behaviour that basically speaks that she deserves less.

I think we must be both selfless and selfish as women.  But selfish is a tough word to swallow. There’s some negativity associated with that word.  And I don’t agree that having boundaries, limits, needs, wants and a voice is selfish.  It is simply a human right.  When I was exploring synonyms for the word selfish, I found the term self-interested.  Say it with me…self-interested.  Don’t you love it?

So, I’m proposing that in order for the guilt bag to empty itself out, we must adopt a new mantra as women.  We must be both selfless and self-interested.  And we must regularly be self-interested as though it were a life line to our sense of worth and self-esteem.  The reality is that when we tend to our own interests and desires, we feel more fulfilled and more confident and when we feel more confident we feel more able to use our voices and ask for what we need.  We are more able to set limits for what we can’t tend to when we feel fulfilled so we do not need to get a dash of “value” in the role of supreme giver.

And guess what, you can teach your daughter to love herself simply by setting your own limits, and being the receiver of your own energy.  In taking that time for you or taking the good egg or accepting a pair of beautiful mukluks, you are saying to the world I believe I am worthy of love and greatness equally to everyone else.  We teach them how to love themselves by loving ourselves.  We have an inherent right to be self-interested.  It is a necessity not only for ourselves but for the self-esteem of our young sisters, daughters and nieces.  We are their role models.

Being self-interested is a sacred spiral of fire, it ignites healing that starts within us and floats out into our family circle and then out into our communities and eventually the entire globe.  As the inner fires spread we build a repertoire for our young women who will also assert their needs, wants and voices into the world and they will have learned it simply by osmosis.  Imagine a world where women feel just as worthy to receive as any other being on the planet…a world where women feel confident enough to stand up for themselves and use their glorious voices no matter what the circumstance.  It’s starting…and the world is beginning to change and operate in a new manner because of it.  Changes, they are happenin’ and the bar is being raised.  We are not only waking up, we are standing up.   Can you feel it?

Imagine that, you are helping to change the world simply by being self-interested.   So, allow yourself to receive…receive help, receive love, receive gifts, receive time off and take it all in unapologetically.  Allow your own best interests to come to the forefront at least half the time.  Allow yourself to remember that as you receive, self-indulge and become more self-interested you are helping change the planet.  You are helping women restore balance simply by receiving energy, it is your birth right.  It is your biology.  And the more you receive, the more you’ll give so it’s a win- win and we all like win-win.

We are awakening as a women’s tribe and returning home into our feminine, fiery and receptive roots.    So go on, I dare ya’!  Indulge yourself with what you want.  Put on your “mukluks” and indulge proudly as a woman who is equally selfless and self-interested, giver and receiver.   You deserve it.  I deserve it.  The world needs it.  We are creating a new phenomenon for women.  My new mukluks are like a statement to the world saying that I am worthy of a wonderful, beautiful life.  So own it, be self-interested and change this planet.


You go girl!

**Make sure to follow the blog or add your email to the list so you get all the Feed Your Feminine Soul goodies.  You can follow the Women’s Tribe on Facebook here and Join our Feed Your Feminine Soul Group here.  Smiles and warmth. :)***


  1. They are beautiful, just like you!

    I know when I started dating my husband I consciously had to be good at receiving. It was really challenging at the beginning but I realized that it was good for both of us if I was good at my part. It allows him to be generous and be praised, honored and adored for doing that.

  2. I have to say that I must have had a polar opposite childhood from yours. My mother was not selfless at all. I had friends whose mothers were doting and caring; I envied them. But at the same time I was learning valuable lessons that I didn’t even know I was learning! Too many and too long to express here, but I’ll sum up my thoughts with something we have all experienced. You know how when you get on an airplane, before you take off the flight attendant tells you that in case of loss of cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will drop down. They then explain that you need to put on your mask first, then assist your child or other family member.
    I think that’s a great visual to remember. If you don’t have the air you need, you can’t help anyone else. Always take care of yourself, then you’ll have more to give to others. Happily!
    For what it’s worth ~ my thought for the day!
    Marsha ~ The Mutinous Boomer!

  3. I finally learned that I deserve to be treated by me as well as I treat everyone else I love. If I’m willing to give to them, I need to be equally willing to accept, and to even give to myself! It’s not be selfish — it’s honoring that I am as worthy of love from me as anyone else. Besides, as you point out, self-less women usually end up exhausted, and sooner or later, they burn out in some way. And yes, Marsha, the oxygen mask example is a perfect one — if we don’t look out for ourselves, we can then look out for others properly. I have come to understand that this is another way in which we achieve balance — in taking care of ourselves, we honor ourselves. If I don’t honor myself, how can I expect anyone else to?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: