As adults, we juggle many responsibilities. Some, like managing finances or family, are a given. Others, like the ever-growing to-do list, come to light at a moment’s notice. In one day, we may attend back-to-back meetings, get our teeth cleaned, root for a child on the soccer field, share dinner and a movie with a loved one, write a blog post, and still find a way to sleep. With an act like this, let’s just run away and join the circus now.
Granted, we don’t do all of these things all of the time. We place value on the events, relationships, and goals in our lives. Watching your daughter’s first ballet recital may be more important than working overtime at the office. Saving money for a down payment on a home may be more important than a big, elaborate wedding. It’s really up to you to decide what takes precedence in your life. We order our preferences by their significance and place the priorities front and center.
Between all the juggling, we often forget one very important piece of the puzzle: ourselves.
There are plenty of times in our day-to-day routines that we have to put ourselves on the back burner. The kids are sick when you had planned an adults-only night, the rent is due when you were finally going to get that new TV you were eyeing, the boss needs you to finish that report before you leave even though you were supposed to be gone an hour ago. We make choices as to what is the most significant at any given time, but a lot of time, we forget to think about ourselves.
It is completely understandable that you can’t be the priority all the time, but are you doing enough to make you a priority to yourself? Are you speaking up when something is bothering you or are you worried about how the other person will react? Are you saying “yes” when you should be saying “no?” Are you as happy as you could be?
When you don’t make yourself a priority, you risk feelings of resentment towards the things and people you deemed more important than yourself. Everyone needs to realize that they are a vital part of their own life and some times, we have to be a little bit selfish in order to regain the balance that is lost when we don’t put ourselves first. It’s ok to step away from a situation when your emotions are raw. It’s ok for mommy to have a night off from the kids. It’s ok to reward yourself for a job well done. Why shouldn’t you make yourself the most important person in your own life?
You risk losing a little bit of yourself when you consistently ignore your own needs in favor of the needs of others. Each time your put someone or something before yourself, you are chipping away at your character, at your essence, at you.
As a society that is taught to value every and any one, it is hard to make yourself the most significant player in your life, but you must. When you value yourself, you can give more to the world. It’s true. What they don’t teach you in grade school is that you must be selfish sometimes. Not all the time, but the times when you are at your weakest, you must channel all of your energy and spirit into yourself. You are no good to anyone if you can’t be good to yourself.
It’s a hard lesson to learn and can be a constant battle with doing what you think is right and doing what is right. If you are true to yourself, you are right. No matter what anyone tells you. Make yourself a priority.
If you don’t, no one else will.