Recently I played a game in which so-called ‘revealing cards’ asked my boyfriend and me wicked personal questions and we had to answer in complete honesty. Some where not so difficult, but others made me think. These questions and answers are so interesting – such good food for thought! – that I’ll drop them here.
So, what would you say when a silly card asks you the seemingly simple yet existential question:
Question: “When do you choose for yourself?”
Do you have an answer? I think a lot about ‘these kind of things’, but this question is difficult! I hadn’t thought about it this way.
Maybe you’d want to think about your answer before reading on.
When do you choose for yourself? … Is it when you leave everything be and be with your own needs and feelings? This can be choosing for yourself, choosing to take care of yourself.
But then, if you choose for yourself, are you not just being selfish? I find this distinction difficult sometimes. I think that in our culture self care is often seen as selfish. We always have a thousand things to do, and just ‘sitting still’ for a bit doesn’t seem allowed. We can feel guilty for giving ourselves what we need instead of giving to others constantly. This is of no help to anyone, because having some peace with ourselves is super important for our well-being!
Self care is needed to stay happy and be able to help others.
Taking care of each other is beautiful, but you cannot do it if you yourself are exhausted from constantly running around helping others. Self care is needed to keep yourself happy. So it is crucial, not a luxury!
We may not always know what we need at the time, and what the uttermost best option is to do, but we have to try to do what’s good for us. We have to take care of ourselves first. (Just like in the air plane!)
My answers to the question were these: I choose for myself when I ask for help and advice, when I take care of my body, when I let go of social pressures and stay in when I prefer to rest, when I see a therapist, and I chose for myself when I took a break year after my Bachelor degree.
My pattern is to want to be there for others all the time, to help them. I too easily get caught up in all that’s happening outside of me and it wears me out. I am learning that there needs to be a balance. Self care needs to come first, it needs to be the base from which you care for others. You are the base.
The second important question we got was the following, which was a nice follow-up:
Question: “What about yourself do you find beautiful?”
This question I found even harder than the first, because you can look at it in different ways or on different levels.
This question holds two concepts: yourself and beauty.
Yourself, your self, you: Who are you? I am [name], [age] years old, I live in [town], [country]. I am [profession], and in my spare time I like to [hobby] and be with [relationships].
I have feelings; I like the nice ones, and I dislike the painful ones.
I also have feelings, like all people. I like the nice ones, and I dislike the painful ones. And I have developed ways to deal with them, which work quite okay, most of the time. But sometimes they don’t. Then I have to remember that I am not my feelings, I am not my mind. I am. What am I?
We have concepts of who we are and of who others are. These concepts are useful, but they can also be in our way. We tend to want to distinguish ourselves from others, we tend to think in binaries. You versus others. Beauty versus ugly.
The concept of beauty: What is beauty? Can we find things beautiful without judging other things as ugly? Can we think of ourselves as beautiful without labelling others as ugly?
The concept of beauty is tricky, because we are taught that ugly is its opposite. There is this thing called inner beauty, but do we even know what that means? Isn’t everyone’s inner beautiful?
Beauty isn’t opposed to ugliness.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you have to learn to see it properly. In that sense, it also isn’t opposed to ugliness. There is beauty in everyone. What is beautiful in me, is beautiful in you as well. In essence we are all beautiful.
How helpful are these questions and concepts and my writings to you? Join the discussion by writing comments!
Image via eommina on Pixabay.