If someone were to ask you what’s the most important thing in your life, what would your answer be?
Your kids? Your car? The answer for the big bucks
Your car? The answer for the big bucks
The answer for the big bucks is YOU!
While my iPod is near the top of my list, I’m my most valuable possession these days. Think about it. Without you being at your best all other areas of your life are going to suffer. Believe me, I know this to be true from experience.
Having had way too much up close and personal experience with narcissists in my life, I used to think this attitude was selfish and wanted to be nothing to do with it. Time and time again, I proved that you attract people with the qualities you need to develop the most while I took giving to a whole, new, sick level. With my generosity coming from a sense of lack, I put others’ wants and needs before my own so that I always ended up angry and resentful. The whole time I was doing what they wanted, I was boiling mad inside and grumbling under my breath because I wasn’t meeting my own needs.
Finally, I realized that the other person doesn’t usually care about getting their way as much as I assumed, and even if they do, their happiness isn’t automatically more important than mine. No one was going to give me a shiny medal for my sacrifice or effort.
When my kids were small, I drove straight from Florida to North Carolina with a 3 month old and a 3-year-old peeing in a diaper (which I held – just let me clarify) while my then-husband cruised comfortably in another car by himself listening to his tunes, instead of Barney, sipping coffee, and stopping whenever needed for potty breaks. Now, I realize that this was totally my choice, but I didn’t at the time. I can’t even point my finger at him. I did it to myself.
While making yourself a priority can be taken to the extreme of being a schmuck, it’s healthy to be a little bit selfish, get comfortable saying “No,” and set boundaries for yourself. The Dalai Lama calls this being “wise selfish” instead of “foolish selfish.”
I’ve even gotten good at being “wise selfish.” Maybe a little too good.
My brain injury, the result of a pill-popping suicide attempt, was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to put myself first. I had to have the “wise selfishness” to make choices which were good for me and my brain while saying “No, thanks” to the people and things, that may have been more fun, but weren’t going to get me where I wanted to go.
My life now reflects an attitude of honoring myself. I put healthy food in my body. I take supplements. I make sure to get ample sleep. Almost every day, I find time to exercise or do yoga. I meditate daily. I’ve gotten comfortable with declining many requests for my time and attention in order to take care of me and promote my happiness.
You get the picture. While I’ve been accused of having OCD about all of these “must do’s”, which may be a little bit true, I prefer to think of it as having self-discipline. In this way, I send the message to myself and the world that I’m important. While I was recovering from a brain injury and still working on getting myself mentally and spiritually healthy, I was vigilant about my musts. Someone already there might not need to be so militant.
While I’ve been accused of having OCD about all of my “must-do” daily activities – which may be a little bit true, I prefer to think of it as having self-discipline. In this way, I send the message to myself and the world that I’m important. While I was recovering from a brain injury and still working on getting myself mentally and spiritually healthy, I was vigilant about my musts. These days I’m not so strict. Someone already there might not need to be so militant either.
You teach people how to treat you. Most often, people aren’t going to treat you any better than you treat yourself. Are you teaching people to treat you like Godiva chocolate or a Seven-Eleven Slurpee?
image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/