As women, we strive to be selfless. We are loving and dependable mothers, wives and partners. We are caring daughters who support our parents in their older years. We are the strong shoulder that our friends lean on in times of trouble. But sometimes, we take it too far and carry other people’s burdens until we become overwhelmed by the weight of the heavy load. Why do we do this? Because it’s what’s expected of us? Or is it because we have signed up for the story that suffering for the sake of others makes us better people?
I believe that somehow, somewhere, we got sold a bill of goods. We were told that giving our all in service to those we love is what we “should” do. We were led to believe that the more we give, the better we are; and the better we are, the more we will be loved, adored, and cherished. As a result, we have established a standard for ourselves that provides no middle ground. We are either selfless or we are selfish. And so, in the story of being either good or bad, selfless or selfish, we sign up for the suffering. We want to be “good.” Me personally? I couldn’t care less.
First and foremost, I choose to put my personal health and well-being before anything and everyone else. I have learned that I cannot give my best in service to others if I am not grounded within myself. Because of this, I choose to say “no” and “no, thank you”, even when I am met with resistance and blame. When I put myself first, I am free to give without feeling overwhelmed or burdened. There is no need for me to take “me time”, because I know that every moment of my life is just that-“me time” and I am free to choose how I will spend it. Do I sometimes make other people a priority? Of course, I do. But in doing so, I am very much aware that even that is my choice. And with that understanding comes peace.
Many of us would say that we sacrifice ourselves for others because we have to or because we have no choice. But the truth is that we don’t have to and we do have a choice. And when we begin to own the power of our choices, we are no longer bound by obligation or fear of not being “good.” We are free to make the choice to be good to ourselves.Read Also