Black and white image of a big sky and Utah mountains in the background and four kids walking down a mountain trail.

Selfish Guilt – Are We Really Still Doing this to Ourselves?

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This week, I needed to hear something a friend said. “When I feel guilty, I’m likely doing something to take care of myself.” She went on to explain that self-care was considered to be “selfish” in her household growing up. Because of this, she knows to ignore those feelings when they come up, and to just go right on pampering herself.

We basically have four teenagers in our home—we’re no strangers to self-centered behavior. But we don’t have a use for the word “selfish” in our home. I’ve learned from G, the kids, and others, how much it serves the entire family unit when I invite time for joy and self-care into my day. So, no one here is made to feel guilty when they’re caring for their own needs. And my hope is that it throws up a big ‘ol red flag for the kids if they’re ever in a relationship where they’re discouraged from meeting their own needs and/or shamed for not putting others first.

I think my buddy Thick Nhat Hahn says it best, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”


And (if you haven’t already)…


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  1. ugh… i stink at this!!!

    • Right?!
      Thanks for your honesty Daniel~

    • Those old tapes in our hed…it’s like they have that square in them that cassette tapes used to have…Remember that place on a tape that you could cover so you could record over it? We need to cover that friggin’ square for good.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment Daniel~

  2. Love this! Thanks for reminding.

    • It took me so long to be at peace with putting myself on the top of the list…I still struggle with it at times.
      I’m learning so much from G-Man and the kids what a world/family can look like when I care more about what an individual is doing to care for him/herself rather than caring about what the individual is doing to care for me.

    • I had a friend who used to say, “Feel the guilt and do it anyway!”
      I hear her in my head all the time.
      Thanks for your comment Ellen~

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