I lied and told myself this was self-care.


I stood in the Na Hoku jewelry shop on Oahu, my breath catching in my throat.

"Ohmigod," I said in a gasp to my friend. "This ring is BEAUTIFUL. I want it. This is the ring I wish I would've gotten when I first got engaged — but they hadn't made it yet and I was too sick while pregnant to even have the thought that I could wait."

The price tag was in the thousands. 

It wasn't essential.

It wasn't something I needed then and there, no matter how much my emotions said so.

In fact, given the fact that we were aiming to turn around our debt, it was a completely superfluous purchase.

But something in me wanted it. I wanted it to fill the hole of what I thought marriage was supposed to be, the hardship of the past few years of postpartum depression, and to simply have a reminder of my own worth and beauty.

So, I justified pulling out my credit card to buy the ring by saying: "This is self-care! This is an investment in myself! This is for ME!"

When I later told my husband what I had done, he looked at me completely perplexed. 

We had so many other areas of our life we could invest in, so many other priorities, and so many elements between us that needed healing.

Why would you go and do this? he wondered.

I thought he just didn't get it.

"Caring for yourself is necessary," Lisa Nicholls narrated into my ear as I meandered about Taiwan. "Self-care provides joy and energy in your soul."

See? I thought, recalling the moment I bought that second ring. I was doing something good for myself!

Then, Lisa followed in her audiobook with, "Indulgence is an act that puts a strain on your future, because of your decisions in the now."

Oh. I realized. Shit.

There's a difference between self-care and indulgence. 

The latter? 

Indulgence can pretty much future-fuck yourself.

Are you clear on the difference between self-care and indulgence?

Are you making choices now that are serving you? Ones that are coming from a place of abundance? 

Many of us don't get taught to own what we need. Then, we're not taught how to ask for it. 

We make our way into adulthood thinking that we can superficially satisfy our greatest desires, when we weren't even clear what we our souls really need in the first place.

What's the theme that's been guiding your life? 

Judy Tsuei