“Fix your own oxygen mask first so you are able to help someone else” ~ thelittlesage.com
I had to write this blog post at the bequest of several of my friends who have asked me how I have become so happy over the past few months. Aside from the fact that I have been able to deal with my depression and anxiety issues, I have also decided to be selfish. Yep. Sometimes it is all about me. And its completely OK.
When I say “selfish,” I don’t mean the egotistical “screw everyone else because its all about me” selfish. There is a difference between being self-centered and selfish. Self centered means you only care about yourself. Selfish means you care about yourself so you can care about others. I have worked in healthcare for nearly 15 years. I worked in Radiation Oncology, did a spin in Hematology Oncology, shifted to Hospice and now work full time in primary care. Needless to say, I have been around a lot of sick and dying people. The one thing you will hear EVERY healthcare professional say to the partners and families of those suffering an illness–“you need to take care of you,” or “you come first.”
Admittedly it sounds harsh. But coming from a person who always lived my life second to everyone an everything else, I can tell you, they are the sweetest words you will ever hear. We live in a world where we are expected to be well bred race horses. We need to live up to other peoples expectations, personally and professionally. Whether its our family, friends, employers-or even ourselves, we all feel a need to live up to what we think other people want us to be. We tend to put work and family first, which of course, are very important. Its just that we never take time to be a little spoiled. Actually make your life centered around you. Only you know what can make you happy. So indulge that (and not in a way that is harmful to you or someone else!).
I don’t mean forget about responsibility. Working and spending time with family should be priority, but you should never play second fiddle to anyone or any thing. How can you take care of others around you when you are not even focusing on yourself? Take a little time out to be selfish. Get a massage. Buy something nice for yourself. Take a day off from your schedule to lounge around in your pj’s, watch TV and eat chocolate! Read a book. Meditate–but focus on YOU.
DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES. For years I had an excuse for not focusing on myself. No money. No time. When you look back on your life-do you only want to see all the TIME you wasted not enjoying YOU? Not enjoying YOUR life? DO NOT MAKE CHOICES FOR THE WRONG REASONS even if you think they are the RIGHT reasons. Absolutely do not do things because you feel you have to or need to based on what you perceive you think everyone else wants from you. Don’t worry about judgmental people. Don’t worry about expectations from others and definitely DO NOT WORRY about your own expectations of yourself. Be you. Enjoy you. Why be hard on yourself? The Universe blessed you with the gift of breath, so take care of you and then you can light the way for others.
I honestly believe that if people were just a little more selfish–loved themselves–spoiled themselves–indulged occasionally on themselves to make them feel better–the world would be a much brighter place. When you take care of you and find your own happiness–you can spread that love and joy to others. In turn, you feel pretty darn awesome that you are a bit selfish. You followed your bliss and can be focused on those around you even more than you could ever have imagined.
So….go out and be selfish! Go spoil yourself rotten–and do not feel guilty about it!
Then spread your love and light to the world around you!