I had very negative (sometimes cruel) things to say to myself before I started “selfishly” giving to others.
The giving began shortly after I had my first panic attack. My son was 4 months old and I thought very little of my skills as a caregiver, had a sudden loss of love for myself, and a sense of unworthiness for all the beautiful drops of fortune in my life. The strength of the panic grew so intense I was put on medication.
The medication would help for a few hours, then I felt shame and guilt for having to take medication. I needed a pill that offered a paradigm shift.
My mom offered something better. She recommended I volunteer for a local organization that pairs trained volunteers with new mothers who have very little support and low income. It seemed crazy, seeing as how I was a new mother with little support and low income, but I was compelled to volunteer. I had to organize childcare for my baby during the training and volunteer sessions, but I knew I had to do this to become the mother my child deserved.