We remember being brought up singing a song at Vacation Bible Schools and Christian camps that had a chorus, “J.O.Y. – Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last.” That last part is a mantra that social pressures also give young men and women. In order to succeed, you must meet all the expectations of others in your life.
When Did Self Care Become Narcissistic?
Somewhere along the way, we began to believe that anything other than meeting the expectations of others meant that we were selfish, self-absorbed, or narcissistic. We do our very best, at the expense of our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health, to perform up to expectations at school, home, work, and in our social group.
Over time, we ended up trying harder, occasionally failing, trying even harder, and occasionally failing and trying even harder. Women focus on being perfect in their jobs, marriages, parenting, churches, and social group. Men focus on meeting the expectations of leader, husband, father and masculinity.
You Can’t Take Care Of Others If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:30-31 (Message)