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  • Writer's pictureErin Johnson

The Power of Turning Inward

We live in a world that tells us that focusing on our own needs and wants is selfish. Women, especially, are socialized to believe that our worth comes from what we do for others.


Be it our partner, our children, those we serve at work, our extended family, our friends, or our co-workers; we are constantly being asked to sacrifice our time and energy for the people in our lives.


And while it is important to practice generosity and loving-kindness to others, at what point does this become detrimental to our own well-being? But what if that belief is inverted? What if, instead of focusing on others to the detriment of ourselves, we turn inward with care and kindness? Could it be that this is not only not selfish but our greatest responsibility?


The Dangers of Caretaking

When we focus our energy outward on others, we can quickly become depleted. We give and give and give until there is nothing left for us. This can lead to

resentment,

anxiety,

and burnout.


When we put others' needs above our own, we are not being selfish - we are being selfless.


However, this kind of selflessness is not sustainable. To truly be there for others, we must first be there for ourselves. It is not selfish to fill our own cup so that we can pour into others from a place of overflow.


The Power of Turning Inward

When we take the time to focus on our own needs, we open up space to be more present for others. This could look like this:

  • meditating

  • going for a walk in nature

  • taking a yoga class

  • simply sitting with ourselves in silence

When we are at peace with ourselves, we can show up more fully for the people in our lives. We can be more patient, more loving, and more understanding.


The Power of Discovering Authentic Joy

When we take time to turn inward, we begin listening to our heart and intuition rather than the messages we receive from outside sources about what is good for us. We can more easily connect with what brings us joy and begin clearing space for those activities that light us up without feeling guilty. These activities might include:

  • reading for pleasure

  • cooking

  • playing music

  • connecting with like-minded people

  • anything that makes you feel good


If you feel spread too thin or disconnected from your needs and desires, remember that it is not selfish to care for yourself. In fact, it can take a great deal of strength and courage to turn inward.



A strong tree needs strong roots to grow and steady itself. When a tree grows strong and steady, people take refuge under its branches and rest against its trunk. They feel inspired by its presence alone.


Give yourself the gift of taking time to consider the nourishment you need to grow. It might be the most important thing you learn to do in your life.


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