Thoughts for Friday – 27th June 2014

quote

 

How many times have we walked away from a situation regretting the things we didn’t say?

I know I have several times.

For too long I’ve let people have their own way, fearing that if I didn’t conform to their view of the world that they would reject me for it. Not knowing where you fit in makes it pretty hard to know your own worth as a person and therefore you measure your worth based on how other people react to you.

I used to think that by doing what was best for others was the only way that I could feel valued or loved – sometimes it was the only way for me to getting any attention or positive reinforcement at all. Knowing that such attention and praise was such a rarity, it made me want to cling onto those small slivers of happiness all the more, to the point where I had ignored my own needs entirely.

For a long time I couldn’t see that giving so much to others was harming me. It’s one thing to be kind, generous, compassionate to others but it becomes unhealthy when you place all of that above yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that we should go through life not giving a damn about the effect that our actions have on others, far from it. Yet we also need to remember that we matter too.

We need to have compassion for ourselves, an understanding of who we are and our worth as human beings. Having compassion for yourself isn’t about doing whatever the hell you want and damn the consequences, but it is about taking a little time to care about ourselves and our own happiness.

Sometimes it is something as simple as giving yourself the night off from obligations. As much as I love writing, I need to give myself a break every now and then. Getting a word count in every single day of the year shouldn’t define who I am as a person. Just because I take a couple of days to clear my mind of writing shouldn’t make me a bad person. Is it really going to make that much difference if I miss a day here or there?

I took a week’s vacation from work recently and spent the first three or four days sitting at my keyboard from 9 am to 6 pm writing,Β  and although I got an impressive word count in, I did begin to wonder what the hell I was doing. I’d become so focused on writing that I’d forgotten to take care of what really matters – me.

I’ve recently come to the realisation that pleasing others shouldn’t be the most important thing in my life. Sometimes the right thing to do is take a step back and stand up for yourself. For too long I’ve kept my mouth closed and agreed to put my own needs aside for the sake of others and where has it got me?

Years of intense therapy for a start.

I need to work on being more assertive and telling people, ‘No, today I am going to take some time for myself,’ instead of readily agreeing to whatever they suggest. And if they don’t like it? Well, that’s their issue, not mine.

It’s taken me over thirty years to realise, but I am a good person and I am worth caring about. Perhaps those who insist on casting me aside because I’ll no longer conform to their beliefs or view of the world will be the ones who lose out in the end. I can’t live the life that others want me to lead anymore, this is my life and I deserve to be happy.

I don’t believe in fairy tales, but I do believe that we can each find our own happiness, we just have to be looking in the right places. And you know the best place to start?

Inside yourself.

 

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22 Comments

Filed under Thoughts for Friday

22 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 27th June 2014

  1. I’m going to bring out my favourite saying here: The only person you can guarantee to spend the rest of your life with, is yourself. You need to make sure you tend to your own needs before those of others.

    My mother thinks i am a little bit selfish for thinking that way. But then i see her getting stressed and upset trying to please everyone else until she is a bankrupt quivering wreck on the floor and i just wish she would listen.

    The people who try to dissuade you from looking after number 1 first, are either using you for what they can get and don’t want that to stop, or trying to justify the stresses they are putting themselves under just so they don’t feel they are a selfish person.

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Naomi πŸ™‚

      I think you’re right, I do need to look after myself more and I’m slowly learning to say no when people ask me to do more than should be reasonably expected of me. I’ve decided that I’ll do what I can but that I won’t push myself to the point of making myself sick.

      I’m reading a book on codependency at the moment and it speaks a lot to the fact that we cannot help or take care of others until we take care of ourselves.

  2. Deb

    I think I need to follow your lead and learn how to take care of myself for a change. Thank you for your point on post. It speaks volumes to me. Deb

  3. I feel like if you are strong in your convictions, you’ll never regret being forthright and honest.

    • Oops, hit the submit button too soon – I meant to add: But if you’re still waffling, it’s best to take the time to think it over before speaking up and taking a stance.

      • I agree, Michelle πŸ™‚

        Some people have accused me of being grumpy for finally standing my ground but I have decided that I have to do what is best for me sometimes and that I cannot continue to push myself to breaking point for the sake of others. I won’t be much used to anyone else if I can barely look after myself.

  4. I want to reach out and hug you! Good on you! For me, writing *is* me telling everyone else to piss off, I’m doing what I want. I keep myself to a word count not for them, not for people here, but for me. If it becomes a burden to me, then I don’t do it. And I am glad you are taking that stand for yourself as well.

    • Thanks, Mark, sometimes I could do wit a good hug! πŸ™‚

      For too long, I have been what is known as a codependent whereby I take care of others to the point of not being willing or able to take care of myself. It is a very hard habit to break and sometimes I might stumble, but I am getting better at saying no sometimes.

      We all deserve to be happy, it’s just a case of me finding out what that is for myself.

  5. Very nice post. I felt its about me while i was reading it. I feel exactly the same way. I should put others behind the number one – me – but it just dont always seem to happen…i care etc and every now and then i expect something in return, dont think its too much to ask for…

    • I’m glad that this post spoke to you. We need to learn to take care of ourselves firs and foremost, otherwise we’ll make ourselves ill and be of little use to our loved ones. Depending on circumstances, some of us can fall into the trap of becoming a codependent whereby we take on the needs of others and ignore our own pain, desires, wants, needs etc.

      If we are to ever have any chance at being truly happy, we must look after ourselves.

  6. Very inspiring post. You are indeed a person worth caring about! ❀

    On a side note, you realize you're the lady who made me accountable to my word count Excel spreadsheet! It haunts my dreams at night! πŸ˜€ Not really, I'm joking. In fact, I'm taking a break from writing today. For me! Great post, my friend.

    • Thanks, Kate, you’re words of encouragement always mean a great deal to me ❀

      I've been reading a lot about the subject of codependency and it speaks very clearly to me and the position that I found myself in growing up. In order to fulfil my own potential, I need to do what is right for me and not necessarily what is convenient or easiest for others.

      Of course, having wonderful friends who support me along my journey makes it a much easier road to travel ❀

  7. Gotta put on our oxygen mask. Pouring ourself (unhealthily) like that for others or with a view to pleasing them is also misguided self-aggrandizement. For real, they don’t think about us that much, not as much as we like to think. They’re busy with their own worries.

  8. This post is so true … I just spent the last twenty plus years trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be. Now I just try to be my true authentic self, and i’ve never been happier! πŸ™‚

    • Me neither! It is so refreshing to be able to be the person we were always meant to be rather than what others wanted us to be. I feel as I am really living for the firs time now.

  9. I hear you. In the back of my mind, I still hear my Mom saying “What would the neigbors think?” – and with that…comes what will this person think and that person and how do I make them happy? Bottom line…I can’t make anyone happy if I’m not happy. That doesn’t mean being selfish..but it does mean I need to do things that are necessary to take care of myself and meet my necessary needs before I can do well for others – and realize I can’t make everyone happy.

    • Exactly πŸ™‚

      Making ourselves happy doesn’t automatically mean that we’ll suddenly become selfish and do things that we wouldn’t normally, but we do need to put our own wants and needs front and centre as well. We cannot look after others unless we look after ourselves too.

      The only person that controls your happiness is you, we all need to stop letting others dictate our happiness.

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