Putting YOURSELF first is not selfish. Thinking about YOURSELF constantly is selfish. RESPECT and KNOW the difference…
Don’t get it twisted. I am the first to advocate “putting yourself first.” After becoming a young mother at the age of 21, at a time when I didn’t truly know who I was or even have the chance to become an adult myself, I was responsible for another human being. Although I NEVER, EVER regretted having my son when I did, taking on that responsibility, came years of pain and confusion of who I truly was. When my son turned 3, I started immersing myself in life, figuring that’s what I had to do… what I needed to do. I even made the decision to go back to school, knowing that I had to do something responsible, not for myself, but for my son. A few years after that, I had my second son, hoping that with him coming into my life, knowing who I was would then, for sure, be easier. Then, a year after that, I obtained my career in the criminal justice field, at a local jail, making my career a priority, along with going to school… again, not doing it for myself, but for my sons. Then that’s when it clicked! At 30 years old, I was asking myself, “who am I?” Who am I, after I strip the titles of mother, student, officer, even wife, away? I lost myself… always thinking and doing things for everyone else first, putting myself second. That’s when my life would change forever. I soon was in the middle of a divorce, and threw myself more into my career and school. Thinking I was finally doing everything for ME, doing things to make myself happy. I was then a soon to be divorcee, newly promoted corrections sergeant with a fresh master’s degree in hand. I thought I finally found myself, doing all I could for myself… making myself happy, right? Me… Me… Me…
After a while, I then noticed that the actions I was taking was affecting the two very people I never wanted to hurt, EVER! My boys! Although I truly was passionate about my new journey of finding out who I was, being happy and loving ME… I quickly realized that I was doing this selfishly. Never wanting to hurt my boys or lose their relationship I had with them as their mother, forever, I knew that whatever changes I chose to make, had to be made with not only me in mind, but also my boys. So, through my divorce, I asked for NOTHING, except for the joint custody of my boys. I did not want them to be put through a battle as meaningless as money and material things… because they are just that, money and material things. The health and well being of my boys and trying to keep things peaceful as possible was MORE IMPORTANT to me. After a few more years at the jail, I realized I wasn’t happy. So, I left that career, knowing it was the best thing, not only for me, but for my children. In order for them to be happy, I have to be happy… and leaving my career, at that particular time, was going to do just that. Although these decisions were scary, I knew it was something I had to do not only for myself, but for my boys. I realized that when you have others that may become “victim” to any decisions you make for yourself, whether it’s children or otherwise, you then need to become aware and conscious of these decisions and make them cautiously and strategically… keeping the well-being of the loved ones intact, while still taking care of YOU first.
So, don’t get it twisted. I am the first to advocate “putting yourself first.” If you are not happy, CHANGE IT… because throughout life, change is inevitable. Always take care of you first and truly love yourself. However, when these decisions include others, that mean something to you (in any way, shape or form), then DON’T make those changes selfishly. Be aware and conscious of your decisions and actions and conduct yourself with love, tact and grace. Remember, you may be making choices, hoping to change your life for the better, but those life changing experiences may lose you what was most important to you… forever. There’s a thin line between making yourself happy and making yourself happy, along with those that you care most about…. being selfish without being selfish… and the challenge is to figure it out and find a balance. Like I have said many times in previous blogs, do what makes you happy first. Because I truly believe that we have one life and this life is way too short to live being unhappy. In order for your loved ones, in my case, my children, to be happy and feel loved, I have to be happy and truly love who I am FIRST… however, making the changes in my life consciously.
Putting YOURSELF first is not selfish. Thinking about YOURSELF constantly is selfish. RESPECT and KNOW the difference… after all, truly selfish people end up having only their SELF….
Love always, @thedesiredgurl
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