In Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone’s ground breaking book, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, the authors depict a story of a minister, who was home alone with his young son. It was stormy outside and his son was restless. He was in his study trying to write his sermon for the next day, but was repeatedly interrupted by the young lad. He got up and tore a picture of a globe out of a magazine and ripped it into several little pieces.
“If you can put the world back together again, I’ll give you a quarter,” he said, thinking this would occupy the boy for some time.
A few minutes later the boy came back in his office, “I’m finished,” he declared.
The minister got up and walked over to where he had thrown the pieces and sure enough, his son had put it all back together again. “How on earth did you do it so quickly?” He asked.
“Well,” the boy started sheepishly, “There was a picture of a man on the other side. I put a piece of paper underneath and I knew if I got the man right I’d get the world right.”
The minister laughed, handed him the quarter and said, “You’ve just given me the topic of my next sermon, When a man is right – his world is right.”
Self-care not only feels good, it’s essential for your well-being. When one gets into the habit of taking care of themselves things start to fall into place. Recently, I’ve been hitting the gym hard. Though I am convinced that my personal trainer is trying to kill me, I can’t deny that I feel amazing afterward. I feel good when I’m eating healthy. I feel good when I’m out in nature. I feel good when I spend time with loved ones. I feel good when I am being kind. I feel good when I’m doing things that bring me joy. I feel good when I am taking care of me.
On the weekend I got together with some neighbors for a BBQ. One of the ladies started complaining about her life. She is a single parent, with two jobs and some health issues. She said she always feels like she’s running from one place to another with no time for herself. Several of us offered up suggestions, but she dismissed them all and continued to complain. There’s no doubt she’s busy and when you’re so busy that you don’t have time for yourself you’re miserable. In this state she was blocking out and not in tuned to a way out of her circumstances.
Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it isn’t something you should get to eventually, or something that should take a back seat to other obstacles. It should be a top priority and on everyone’s agenda, every day. Your self-care is your responsibility and if you want to feel good every day, you need to make time for it.
My definition of self-care means being a fully autonomous being, who takes care of themselves physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. One who’s well-being is a top priority.
Here’s what self-care and feeling good does for you:
It Releases Endorphins: When you work out, your body releases endorphins that interact with the receptors in your brain. They trigger a positive feeling in the body. As I write this I don’t mind telling you I’m buzzing with happiness. I’m kind of annoying myself with how happy I’ve been feeling. The only thing that changed is now I’m working out every day, I’m eating super healthy, I’m getting out in nature (I just bought a new bike). When you feel good you can’t help but be kindness. Today I paid it forward at the coffee shop, I held the door open and smiled at everyone that came into my space and radiated good energy.
In a study done by Christine Carter, at Berkley, participants reported that they felt stronger and more energetic when helping and being kind to others. They also reported feeling calmer with increased feelings of self-worth. Researchers also found similar results when participants witnessed acts of kindness, so feeling good makes you want to be kind and being kind or witnessing kindness makes you feel good. That’s the cycle of kindness – keep it going.
When You’re Feeling Positive You’re in Line with Your Goals: You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are, so you want to make sure that you’re feeling good, because who doesn’t want more of feeling good? As most of my clients will attest I constantly tell them if you’re in a low emotional energy vibration, you attract low emotional energy people and low emotional energy circumstances.
“Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something you are telling the universe, “More of this please.” – Esther Hicks
Being Stable and On Top of Everything Makes You Feel Stable and More In Control and Being In Control Makes You Feel Good: I feel strong and empowered when I take care of myself. Nothing can throw me off balance, because I control my own life – the people in it, the energy I allow into my front row, how I react, what I do, how I feel… I don’t throw my rope to other people and hope that some day they might save me. I save myself and better yet, I don’t find myself in situations that I need saving from. I don’t engage with crazy. I walk away from everything that doesn’t make me feel good. I’m fully in control of my own life and that feels damn fantastic.
“I had to do a clearing of people who were not supportive of who I wanted to be in the world. And I recognized that there are people who are not going to take responsibility for their energy, so I now have to take responsibility for the energy that I allow to be brought into my space. What I know is that you cannot continue to move forward in your life to the level that you need to be if you’re surrounded by energy that brings you down, that sucks the life force from you. So not only are you responsible for the energy you bring, you’re also responsible for the energy you surround yourself with.” – Oprah Winfrey
Meditation Feels Good: I often find myself looking forward to the moment when I get to meditate. When I meditate I feel amazing. I can manufacture the feeling of joy. I can manufacture the feeling of health, love, abundance and during my meditation I visualize my goals. I see and feel the end result. I put myself there – feeling good the whole time. I don’t understand why people don’t meditate every day. It relieves stress, anxiety and worry. It replaces it with calm, joy, optimism and a vibrant energy.
When I’m good to myself it says to my subconscious, “I value you.” What is codependency? It’s a dysfunctional relationship with the self, covered in shame, doubt, fear, inadequacy… when I value myself, by practicing self-care, I change that dynamic. I interrupt that tape that wants to tell me I’m not enough and replaces it with the message – I’m more than enough. I’m friggin’ fantastic. Thanks for asking!!!
I looked forward to your messages but they had stopped and I need them. I have learned so much from your messages especially how a narcissist first comes into our lives. My life has been exactly as you have written. How could I have been so ignorant of all I now know. Why do I stay, he is undermining my whole system, physically and mentally. He behaves when anybody is around like he is the best husband and they believe he is. My oldest best friend told me it’s like going to your wedding and nobody is sitting on your side of the church. I start a day with all the positive affirmations, and I feel happy. I’m not an hour into the day and he’s telling me what I’ve done or not done, said or not said. He will not accept any criticism, I mean any.
Loving the new look of your blog!! 🙂
You’ve helped a lot of men too, Savannah, including me. You have helped me understand codependency and narcissism, which was the answer to the riddle of how I ended up unknowingly married to a serial cheater for 20 years and raising two children almost on my own.
I see now how typical our situation was. I never had proof, but there were red flags, not just with her co-workers, but several of our close family friends.
I did not trust my intuition, and just could not believe what I was feeling could be real or possible. I was made to feel like shit any time I questioned anything that seemed odd (“how dare you suggest I could do such a thing”). I decided I was just reading everything wrong, and let way too much go by. I became convinced it had to be me. Ugh! So common.
Once the truth came out, I wondered how I could have been fooled so badly. I’m a professional, well educated, successful, and switched on in most areas of my life. My ex was the opposite. How did she pull this off? There had to be answers to what happened.
I started desperate searches on the internet, eventually coming to narcissism and codependency – and your site. Mystery solved.
I divorced, with her pleading against it and my heart not wanting it, but she continued to be untruthful and I felt it was the only healthy thing I could do. I hate what I became for what seemed an eternity, but I’m on the way back now. Your site has been one of my most cherished resources.
Sometimes you wonder if the efforts you make are meaningful in the lives of others. I want you to know yours are (and for what it’s worth, I have taken self-care seriously and, among other things, at 58, have run five 5k’s and one 10k this year). This was way too long, but thank you, Savannah.
Thank you JK. That means a lot to me.
This is great advice. I realized that my narcissist family members treated me like I was worthless for so long, I started believing it myself. We need to love ourselves whether anybody else loves us or not. Love is truly the greatest.
Love to all,
Savannah, I love that your blog posts on Monday. You start my week off right! I was particularly struck by the Oprah Winfrey quote because after my father’s death two months ago I realized that I no longer had to fear the crazy-making of the original abusive narcissist in my life. One freeing revelation led to another and I realized I could go No Contact with several parasitic relationships in my life. I am 57 and have been out of a very damaging relationship for 3 years now and my self-esteem is going up. I am also better and better at boundaries because of practice! What has been interesting is that I have been noticing on subtler and subtler levels that my energy gets agitated and drained by certain people. I noticed that my stomach would clench when a needy girlfriend would text over and over despite my clear boundary to only talk on the phone 1-2 times a month. Then I noticed that one male friend always guilted me and that my energy would drop the minute I got his almost daily texts — as if I owed him my attention somehow. Then I saw how a male coworkers daily “hugs” made me feel agitated and slutty. So I did a housecleaning about two weeks ago! I ended two of the friendships, blocked three predatory males who occasionally check in to see if I will participate in a booty call, and said flat out no to my co-worker. I realize I was trained by my predatory father to override my instinct to protect myself and I have had to relearn this once innate skill. I actually have to do quite a lot of journaling and time alone to figure out who is predatory and how I really feel because I want abused into being predator food. Now, though its only been two weeks, I feel that power struggle feeling releasing in my belly. That knot is fading. I initially felt some guilt at ending two friendships but I realized the lack of agitation and anxiety and resentment is more than worth it. I am starting to realize that if people feel bad to me they are bad for me. Its a simple equation but it has taken me a long time to give myself permission to say no to people. Thank you for being such a clear and honest voice on this journey.
Excellent post, as always. Thank you. I’ve just read Possum’s comment and almost chuckled reading that she is 70. No, not that I think it’s funny but because I am getting closer and closer to 60 and sometimes I get upset that at this age I should’ve known better. I should’ve been wiser, have more integrity and so on. Ha, ha, ha! There is no age limit to discovering true self. It’s not the age; it’s what and how we learn from the lessons life throws at us.
You’re so right that positive energy not only attracts positive events. Another good thing I read somewhere is the example of a dark room. If there is lots of people in a dark room and you add more dark one it will not make any difference whatsoever. If one person brings light to that dark room, even if it’s a little light it will make a visible difference. I really like this example, because sometimes it’s hard to believe that these tiny, little, positive steps that we are making will eventually result in a positive make over of our lives.
A male out of town sent me an email this week. I sent it to my phone. It reads; “you’re attractive enough to be a little more PICKY!!!!!!!!!”
I’m sharing this with everyone here. Have a Wonderful Week Ya’ll !
Hi Savannah, ive been ready your post and following the advice since I ended a very painful relationship last October. My ex is an alcholic narcissist and unfortunately is drinking himself to death. I have blocked all communication with him since October. I have worked hard on my own codependency behaviours during this time.
This week I was informed that my ex is in a very bad place. As a rescuer, I was already thinking of ways to get help for him. AND THEN I STOPPED and realised what I was about to do. I’m 70 and have only just realised what ive been doing all my lonely and unhappy life. I could blame my abusive father and brother – or I can finally take control of my destiny….. thank you Savannah
Savannah I been following all you post for two years now. From discovering that I was a codependent , a product of a narcissistic mother and top of attracting narcissistic partners, I was determined to stop the hurt within me and vowed to learn to feel good about me. I’m at the stage of feeling better about myself then ever before and doing the same things you talked about in this post. It’s been a long journey for me, but after 35 years of being in that dysfunctional rut, I can say I came along way in the past two years of my transformation. I am now working on a career change from being a position where I am not treated nice to becoming my dream of being an artist ( been told by unsupportive people I can not do this). I believe in my inner powers and very thankful I found your site two years ago! Keep up the outstanding work of helping women overcome codependency and believing in themselves!