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How to give yourself time without guilt

Do you find yourself feeling guilty or selfish for having time for yourself, when you feel you should be focused on others?

For many people taking care of your own needs can be difficult when you also have others to consider. It’s easy for others to judge and so it can look like we don’t care or that we are being selfish.

Of course we want to consider others and make sure they are OK, but if we are not careful, we can continue doing so much for others, never feeling it’s enough and end up exhausted and resentful. Then we can get caught up in those awful feelings of guilt, which is no fun for anyone!

In New Eight Steps to Happiness, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso explains how important it is to have some quiet time alone everyday, ideally meditating, so that we are in a better state mentally and physically to help others around us.

“Since the real purpose of meditation is to increase our capacity to help others, taking time each day to meditate is not selfish. We have to manage our time and energy in such a way that we can be of maximum benefit to others, and to do this effectively we need time alone to recover our strength, collect our thoughts and see things in perspective.”

So how do we find the right balance between looking after our own needs and those of others?

By increasing our wisdom through reading and listening we will find our ability to meditate and become still, relaxed, and calm will deepen and improve.  This experience is essential for our own well-being and mental health, it also benefits others who we live and work with. This means giving ourselves time is for others’ benefit too – we become kinder, more patient, and loving.  Remembering this, helps us see how it is possible to care for ourselves without feeling selfish or guilty, AND be able to have enough energy to help others too! It’s a win-win!

So allow yourself the time – guilt-free to:

  • come to a regular meditation class to keep yourself motivated and learning
  • create time for your own daily meditation at home

Find out about our meditation classes

If you want to learn more about Buddha’s teachings, click here for weekly meditation classes, as well as weekend meditation courses and meditation retreats that are available to those in Southampton, Hampshire, Winchester, Dorset & Isle of Wight.

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