Initially, self-care was this concept that people were too focused on themselves and disregarded others around them.

How could people spend time for themselves? Do they neglect their responsibilities? What about their family and friends? Why are they so concerned with themselves-- all the time? Why are all their posts related to self care? Is that all they ever do?

This movement towards self-care was selfish.

Everyone was concerned with themselves.

We were losing love in the world.

I had to act fast.

I gave and gave.

I gave and gave.

Oh yeah, I gave and gave and gave..

Almost as if I had to replace all the selfish acts of self-care with acts of giving through loving others.

Eventually, I could feel my body slowing down. I was mentally exhausted. I felt guilt when I was not able to provide.

We are supposed to be loving humans, if we are consumed in loving ourselves then how are we supposed to love others?

I was continuously watering everyone's plants. I never let my own plant flourish or bloom.

I recognized that I had to take a step back and fill up my own water jug to water my plant and flourish.

There were periods of guilt. I was filling up my own jug and pouring it into my own plant. The guilt came on because I was giving myself more time. Who am I? I am turning into a selfish person that was doing self care. That was something I did not want to become. I started to question myself. Was I really that selfish? Am I the person that I was resisting becoming? I could feel a wave coming right at me. What do I do? How do I fix this? What is fix even mean? Do I go back to giving and giving continuously? And never caring for myself?

This personally had to do with my experiences and upbringing. We never ever ever -- prioritized for ourselves in my ancestry.

The truth is

self-care is not selfish.

If you have pondered the thought of self-care or resisted this idea-- give yourself the permission for a second to appreciate yourself. Look at you surviving everyday. You are so loved in many ways by the universe. You are allowed to love yourself. There is no selfish in love. You can fill your own water jug, water your own plant, and radiate when you blossom. When you radiate, the light will touch others around you as well. They will be moved. They will be loved.

It is actually quite beautiful. You are giving yourself the love that you have never allowed for yourself to have. That love you are giving yourself will allow for you to heal and grow. That healing love you may have never given yourself, may radiate on to another beautiful soul and create a domino effect. Maybe one day we will become healing versions of ourselves.

Maybe if we redefined self-care, and use the word self-love first -- we will give ourselves the love that we need. Finding that balance between loving yourself and loving others is a tough one. I believe that if you love yourself, you will learn to love the world around you. Fall in love with yourself. The world will fall in love with you. You will fall in love with the world. You will become a loving energy around you. Go be love.

Raman Mander.png

I am Raman Mander. I am a spoken word poet, a publisher, a podcast host and to top it off, a nurse as well.  I have been a registered nurse in maternity for two and a half years. This past year I returned to school to complete my perinatal speciality so I could focus on labour and delivery. I am a spoken word poet and author and recently released and published my book titled, “Little Hugs: Encouragement for your Soul.” I host a podcast called, “Real, Real Quick“ with my dear friend, where we take on challenging topics, such as self-care is not a bubble bath and not being afraid of fear. In addition, I hosts poetry nights in the Fraser Valley and provide a space too many to share their words. My goal is to use self love to love others!

As for poetry, it kind of just came out of nowhere. It sprouted from a dark time. I just wrote to express my own self and it slowly it began to give me a voice and be a platform for others to have a safe space at poetry night. Put your heart into what you love and let it love you back. I had others in my life encourage me to follow my path. Trying to find a balance between loving myself and loving others. Trying to find time for self-care and giving time to others, along with finding time to give love to the world when you feel hurt. Along my journey, I have come to understand and advocate for self-love. You are allowed to have a voice. You are allowed to express yourself and follow your heart. You’re not made to be a certain way. You are made to be amazing. Follow what you want to be and what you want to do and let it into your life. If you have a passion, follow it. Find those that will encourage you and support you. You are allowed to speak up and voice why you want what you want. These are a few things that resonate with me and I share encouragement through my social media and in-person events and appearances.


About the author

More by
5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.