What is it that you are doing for you, and only you? For many of us, the urge to give and serve is automatic. We do not hesitate to rise to the occasion and demands of our friends, careers, families, and loved ones. This usually leads us to putting our own needs and desires at the end of the list. And it doesn’t end there! After engaging in small or major acts of self-neglect, we experience stress, burnout, illness, resentment or a faint sense of malaise, discontentment and disconnection.
So, needless to say, the aftermath of engaging in daily acts of self-sacrifice and putting everyone’s needs continuously above your own often leaves behind nasty consequences. The nastiest of all is a disconnection between you and your true self.
How can we deal with the tension between serving others and serving ourselves? Many wise people of the present and past knew the answer to this age old dilemma. They told us that we need to give to ourselves first because prevention is the best medicine. In the Richest Man in Babylon, George Samuel Clason told us to pay ourselves first if we wanted to grow in wealth and make a long term investment in our future. Similarly, Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People taught us to “put first things first” and “to sharpen the saw.” When Dr. Covey told us to put first things first, he wanted us to align our lives and actions in accordance with our values. He taught us to do those things that were important first–both the urgent and nonurgent. And when he told us to sharpen the saw, he wanted us to engaging in those experiences that would prove to enrich us across the many dimensions of our lives.
What would it take for you to pause and really think about what it is that you need? Checkout the poem I wrote and comment below!
For me only do I steal away moments of quiet
For me only do I meditate upon my beauty
For me only do I engage in those things that I love
For me only do I embrace and accept all of me
For me only do I say yes to myself
For me only do I say no to you when I know that is what I need
For me only do I laugh, sing, run, jump, and cry–all without apology
For me only do I shout resoundingly: I love me; I choose me; I free me!
For me only do I release myself from the need to allow my heart’s song to shrink into the background
For me only…and always!