International Women’s Day is round the corner. While I am one of those who believe womanhood should be celebrated everyday, it is nice to have one dedicated day for this to specifically remind us! While we may have our plans on how to celebrate this ‘special’ day, I want to bring attention to something which we all need to get rid of! This Women’s Day, I want all women to let go off the guilt associated with self care and self love and embrace it as a life essential!
Thanks to our patriarchal upbringing, we as women have a tendency to immerse ourselves in bountiful pangs of guilt every time we do something ‘only for ourselves’. Remember those times when you let your husband baby sit your child and went out with your girlfriends for some girl time. How many times did you call home and check on your husband and child? Remember the time when you loved a dress but kept on thinking whether you are worth that dress? Remember the time when you did not give your husband his lunch to work and the pang of guilt that stabbed you. The time when you were at a friend’s place for dinner enjoying chitchatting with the gang, when you remembered your friend is alone in the kitchen. Remember that guilt which made leave conversations midway to help her in the kitchen while the men enjoyed! Remember the fees of any self improvement or that advanced yoga class which makes you feel so guilty that you don’t even think about joining it though you so want to do it!
These are just few of the examples. Why is it that whenever we indulge in self care of self love, it is ALWAYS accompanied by guilt? The society is one of the reasons. I am not a saint and as a part of the society, I have also been a part of the judging and name calling at one point. I have judged a mother who left her 3 month old baby in a creche and joined work. I have judged a woman who spent a bomb at the parlours. I have judged women who did not have any career ambition in life. Yes, I have been part of ‘that society’. But over the years, I have realized that it is these ‘judging’ eyes that ruin the joy of self love for most of us women. After all, who am I to judge someone? I don’t know their story, I don’t know under what circumstances they took a particular decision, I simply don’t know what their real life looks like. Even if I knew, what right do I have to judge? The first step we women need to take to eradicate guilt is stop judging others. Live and let live!
I love this quote from my favorite book Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – “To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”
It makes so much sense. Indeed you first need to love the ‘I’. You need to respect the ‘I’. You need to give space to the ‘I’. You first need to make ‘I’ a priority. You need to love yourself before you can reciprocate that love to someone else. If you don’t respect yourself, how will you garner respect from others? If you keep on thinking and doing things for others, when will you live your own life?
How many times have we sabotaged our joy of self care because of the guilt trip we always associate with self care? Gone are the days when women were supposed to be in the kitchen and yet that guilt doesn’t seem to die. I know we have been raised this way but let’s try at least to love ourselves without any guilt whatsoever! One step at a time.
This Women’s Day, I want all of us to do or take up one self care activity which we have been procrastinating or avoiding only because of this ‘guilt’. What is that one thing you want to do for ‘yourself?’