Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish

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“God has given you responsibility over all aspects of your well-being, including spirituality. Just as temples periodically need renovations and maintenance, it is important for you to take time to regularly tend to other areas of your life that need care and attention.” (How to set Boundaries for well-being)

I used to think that whenever someone asked for help, that I try as hard as could to give it. I failed over and over. When I wasn’t able to meet everyone’s demands, I prayed for greater capacity. Greater time management, greater ability to love, and greater balance.

Then something amazing happened.

On a particularly difficult day, an impression came that things weren’t to be like this. I learned that I needed to create some healthy boundaries if I wanted greater joy, better relationships, and greater capacities.

The Savior’s Example of Boundaries

jesus boundaries Taking care of yourself isn't selfish

I used to think that Jesus was always serving. That he must have let everyone to always be with him. But I found that the Savior also used boundaries.

While He served and lifted others daily, He also went to the mountains alone to pray (see Luke 6:12). We too can take time for our daily prayers, scripture studies, exercise, pondering, and reflection. We may be tempted to think that we’re neglecting someone or something else if we make this time a priority, but nothing is more important than the first great commandment – which is to Love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Then the second commandment is like unto it- to love your neighbor as yourself. Meaning, you cannot fully love your neighbor or God, without loving yourself. When you take time to develop your spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental self, you are in affect saying that you love yourself. Which thereby increases your love for others and for God.

Jesus asked disruptive and mocking people to leave (see Mark 5:40). Jesus didn’t just say “I won’t let it bother me.” While I’m sure it didn’t get to Him, Jesus has enough respect towards Himself and God to not tolerate people mocking or hurting him. Each time someone tried to kill Him before it was part of God’s plan for His atonement, he escaped and left the situation. Every person has the right to be loved and feel safe. Yes, Jesus ate with the sinners, but notice He didn’t eat with the Pharisees or those who wanted to kill him. He didn’t tolerate the merchants selling in “His Father’s House.” He chased them out. Jesus placed conditions of faith and repentance to be in His presence. We can do likewise. We do not have to be attacked, mocked, or hurt by others. We can explain what isn’t OK to be said or done to us.

And in one particular case, after a long day of teaching, He fell asleep (see Luke 8:22–25).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about this last story when he said:

“For those of you who earnestly seek to bear another’s burdens, it is important that you refortify yourself and build yourself back up when others expect so much of you and indeed take so much out of you. …
“I have always been amazed that [Jesus] could sleep through a storm on the Sea of Galilee so serious and severe that His experienced fishermen disciples thought the ship was going down. How tired is that? How many sermons can you give and blessings can you administer without being absolutely exhausted? The caregivers have to have care too. You have to have fuel in the tank before you can give it to others.”

“Another step you could take right away is to practice saying no at appropriate times—meaning times when saying yes would be harmful to your well-being. Instead of trying to be a rescuer, offer support instead. Help the person access resources such as a trusted therapist, a meaningful book, or comforting scriptures. Sometimes people may simply need to sit with a friend while they experience pain instead of having you try to fix their problems. These supportive actions allow people to grow and become resilient as they exercise agency.

As you take responsibility for setting, communicating, and sticking with your boundaries, draw strength from Heavenly Father and the Savior. They will help all aspects of your life stay strong, lively, and firm regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in.”

Balance just is not possible – at least maybe not as you think

Elder Bednar said

“Sometimes we reflect on all of our responsibilities at home, school, work, and church and wonder how we can achieve a balance among the many competing demands on our time.

Instead of driving ourselves crazy trying to do everything at the same time, we should identify the few fundamental things that are our highest priorities.

We then can strive to give each of them the attention they need—one at a time. When you are at home, choose to make home the priority. When you are at school, choose to make school the priority. When you are at work, choose to make work the priority. When you are worshipping at home or at church, choose to make worship the priority.

It may sound simplistic, but we should not get frustrated and waste effort and time trying to achieve a perfect equilibrium among all of the important things we need to do. As we pray sincerely for God’s help to identify what matters most, He will guide and assist us to focus our efforts day by day.”

Instead of seeking things to be equal or fair, seek for what will enable you to be the best version of yourself. What will make you a better servant of God? What is the Lord’s will? Am I acting out of fear or am I acting out of Faith?

Conclusion

When you take time to take care of yourself, something amazing happens, you’re telling yourself that “I MATTER.” You’re increase your capacities to help others, as you take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient and loving. Remember to follow the example of Jesus who

Went to the mountains alone to pray (see Luke 6:12)

Aked disruptive and mocking people to leave (see Mark 5:40)

Took time to rest after long days (see Luke 8:22–25)

You DO matter. Your thoughts, feelings, opinions, spiritually, and emotional well being matters. So take some time for YOU.

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Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish

“God has given you responsibility over all aspects of your well-being, including spirituality. Just as temples periodically need renovations and maintenance, it is important for

Daylen Pollard

Daylen Pollard

Husband, Father, Follower of Christ