I recently wrote the words in my journal, ‘perhaps I really do just exist for the sake of other people.”
I’ve spent my entire life overly aware of the needs of those around me. Often, I exist on a plane that is totally consumed with everyone else’s happiness.
Other times, as a way of compensating, I am utterly selfish and borderline indignant.
I haven’t quite mastered the ability to shut off my level of awareness. To simply exist without concern for the perceived needs of the people sharing the room with me.
I think life would be simpler, but, I’m not sold on the idea that it would make me happy.
I may have more fun in a moment, I may restrict myself less and let it all hang out a little more.
But, at the end of my life I have to think about what I’ll be looking back on.
Days filled with being aggressively self-serving or a rich network of human connection?
A life lived without compromise or a life lived in such a way that people feel safe to be their truest selves with me?
As with all things, I certainly believe there’s a balance.
A happy place between absorption with self and complete self-ignorance.
I have every intention of finding that perfect spot in the center of the level of life.
After all, life is meant to live richly and mine is made richer with authenticity.
However, I also believe happiness is found deep within the wells of giving and thoughtfulness.
I guess the question is, where do we draw lines for ourselves?
I think it begins with the decision to make giving and consideration a choice.
Giving out of obligation or guilt isn’t the kind of giving that I’d like to do.
Rather, I want to give out of a spirit of overflow.
Like a cup filled with rich molasses made from a tree of self-care.
I want to pour out my tenderness onto people coating them with the same acceptance that I’ve learned to have for myself.
But, it’s also my responsibility to do what I need to do to make sure that cup is full and to not offer more than I have to give.
People will never stop needing you. Work will never go away. But, the ability to care for yourself is also everlasting.
I’ve found myself shaken in that regard lately. Not doing my best job of getting what I need out of life.
So, I made a list. It’s nothing I didn’t already know, but, it served as a brief reminder of what I can do to fill that cup with depth, intention, and unadulterated joy.
What’s on your list?
with love and balance,