Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping

. 2 min read

I read Jordan Peterson's book 12 Rules for Life a while back to produce a video series about it for WIP. I even mentioned here on the site that I had problems getting to terms with the way Peterson had written the book. But I worked through it and finished the book and made the videos and got the whole thing over with.

Except that I didn't. I've been haunted by one particular rule in the book. The one in the title of this article. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.

In the chapter, Peterson talks about how people aren't taking their medications or leaving destructive relationships - yet giving their pets the best possible care, regardless of the cost - because they think of themselves as sinners who do not deserve to be taken care of. Peterson traces this mentality to the Bible and how the first humans ate the forbidden fruit and were banished from paradise. Doing the morally wrong thing (whatever that may be) is apparently innate for humans, and thus humans don't consider themselves worthy of saving. And this, of course, is ridiculous, and Peterson suggests you fight this mentality by taking care of yourself and treating yourself like that precious pet of yours: with utmost care.

Do you do this? Do you treat yourself with utmost care; do you help yourself?

I sure don't. I know I should eat well. I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I know I should exercise more.

Yet, at regular intervals, I skip my morning run - which easily turns into a permanent arrangement. I eat dairy even though I know it doesn't suit me. I push myself to produce content and meet deadlines and work even if I was sick or otherwise incapacitated.

But hey! I've tried to work on this lately! On Monday, I cut my day a little shorter than usual because I had both a depression attack and a headache. (I did make up that lost work the following days by working overtime, though.) I've eaten clean since that overdose of dairy last Sunday - just eggs and beef, a little berry. However, I still haven't run since Monday, and perhaps I drink too much coffee. I need to work on those.

How are you helping yourself?