To The Person Who Puts Everyone Else First, It's Not Selfish If You Prioritize Yourself

To The Person Who Puts Everyone Else First, It's Not Selfish If You Prioritize Yourself

When you try to be a million different things to a million different people, you're going to lose yourself.

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Over the past year or so, I've developed a passion for astrology in the hopes of better understanding myself and others. In the process, I've learned a lot about my zodiac sign and how it influences my behavior. As an Aquarius, one of my defining characteristics is "humanitarian," and for a long time, I struggled to understand what that meant. I mean, sure, I'm a generous person, but I'm not feeding the hungry every weekend or building houses for the homeless or anything.

As time passed, however, and as I began developing a stronger sense of self and identity, the pieces started to come together. Humanitarians are driven by the needs of other humans. They see someone suffering, and they help. They see a problem, and they intrinsically assume responsibility for fixing it. No, I may not be a literal humanitarian, but if my compulsion to put everyone else's needs before my own is any indication, I have definitely grown to identify with my Aquarian traits.

The problem with all of my best qualities is that they do just as much harm as they do good. Because when you're like me and are fueled by empathy, you have no sense of self-preservation. You internalize other people's pain to try and ease their load. You give and give and give — whether you're asked to or not — because it's in your nature to heal what's broken, even if it isn't your responsibility. And in doing so, you completely lose yourself trying to be a million different things to a million different people. You can't be everything to everyone, and I am just now starting to realize that.

I know I can't continue to put everyone else first at the expense of my own happiness, but old habits die hard. After a lifetime of being ready to drop everything and give away all my emotional energy at any given moment, it's difficult to learn how to establish new boundaries. I can't help but feel guilty every time I turn someone down and can't be what they need me to be, but I know that there is only so much of myself that I can give. If I don't allow myself to recharge, I won't be of any use to anyone.

Prioritizing yourself doesn't make you a selfish person. You do it so that you have the capacity to be of better help to the ones you love and because you owe it to yourself to find inner peace and happiness. It's not worth it to go through life as a people-pleaser if doing so leaves you broken and exhausted. You deserve more than that, and once you begin to acknowledge your own self-worth, the guilt of putting yourself first starts to fade away.

The fact is, I'm not always going to be able to fix everything, and I'm learning to be OK with that. It isn't easy to let go of my need for control and my desire to make everything perfect all the time, but I know I'll be a happier person in the end for it. There's only so much I can do and give before I start to lose myself, and it's OK that I have those limits.

It's hard to strike a balance between being a humanitarian and putting myself first, but I'm trying. Some days I feel like I've gotten the hang of it until I find myself in a situation where I'm left running on empty because I've disregarded my own needs and feelings to prioritize those of everyone else. I know it's not always going to be easy, but I'm worth the work it takes to find happiness. The road is long, but at least I know that I'm on my way.

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I Found My Voice When I Was Diagnosed With Muscular Dystrophy

How I became a writer

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I have always had a love and passion for writing since I was little. Probably as early as third grade. I would always write makeup stories about monsters and typical third-grade stuff. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Strobbe saw my potential. Her class was hard but it pushed me to become a better writer. Rarely anyone got an A in her class and I had received an A in that class. Then as time went on, I pushed away from writing just because I didn't think I could make way with a career of writing - obviously I was wrong.

I began on the teaching path the rest of my elementary years. (Yes, I've had an idea of what I wanted to do when I was just in elementary, call me crazy.) In 6th grade, I still thought teaching was the way to go. At the time was going through a rough patch- getting spinal fusion and getting diagnosed with MD. It was a lot for a 12 or 13-year-old to handle. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings.

My mom had encouraged me to write again whether in a blog or writing in a journal. I had decided to write in a blog and it felt really good to write again. I only talked about my surgery because I wasn't quite ready to share the whole MD ordeal yet to the whole world. Close family knew but my friends had no clue.

I got into high school and students even teachers would ask me "Why are you riding the elevator?" Why this and that. I didn't really share much because I was afraid people would think differently of me. But I was tired of people asking me. I then wrote a piece on social media and put my story out there for the world and it felt amazing. I finally found my voice and I was loving writing more than ever. It was because I had the courage to speak up and stop hiding. I needed to share what I have been through and teach people to learn to embrace what they've got no matter who you are. I wanted to be the person to make a positive impact on people who have diseases and those who don't understand what it's like having a disability through the power of writing. I wanted to have the power to tell people's unique stories who may be afraid to speak up for themselves or share their story.

My goal when I write is to hopefully make a difference in someone's life or just someone that can be relatable. In high school, I am also highly involved in publications ie being Co-Editor-In-Chief for the Magazine for the last four years and it was a huge game changer as well, I never thought that I could make a living and realistically have a job In the journalism field. Being in publications was an eye-opener. It lead me to so many opportunities- writing for Newsboys, going to Mizzou for Journalism field trips etc. It made me fall in love with writing even more than I had. For me, writing is everything to me and I know I wouldn't be the same person or even the writer I am today without sharing my story.

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5 Things Everyone Should Know When Making Self Love A Priority, As It Should Be

Basically, all you need is self love.

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Basically, all you need is self love. Self love should be your number one priority, so, here are things to know about self love.

1. Self love is not always easy.

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Although, self love should be self explanatory with the words alone, there may be some individuals out there who do not clearly understand the meaning because they have never been taught how to love themselves. The definition of self love is the love of oneself. In the beginning, loving oneself can be a hard process and doesn't happen overnight. Acquiring self love can take months, years, or even a person's entire lifetime to develop. However, once a person finds self love they will realize what they have been missing their entire life.

2. Accepting yourself, it’s truly ok to be different.

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The very first thing that you need to learn about self love, is to accept your flaws which can be difficult for some people in the beginning. But what you have to look at and understand is that those little imperfections makes you who you are. Everyone in this world is beautiful and handsome in their own way, and it's really okay to be different because in a world full of Cheerios, it's boring, so why not spice it up by being a fruit loop instead.

3. Practicing self care.

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Practicing self care, how do we get there? Self care is essential to preserving your own mental health. When you are feeling down and out about yourself or the negative things in society that may be affecting you, here are some tips to practice self care:

  • Remove yourself from negative environments
  • Avoid individuals who causes stress
  • Take breaks from electronics and social media
  • Meditate to strengthen your mind
  • Try painting or drawing to relax your mind
  • Try listening to music / dancing
  • Take a break and go outside to get some fresh air
  • Go on a little shopping spree and treat yourself on occasions
  • Relax to scented candles
  • Try having a discussion with your family and/or friends

4. You don't need anyone else to make you happy.

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Many people have been programmed to believe that they need someone in their lives in order for them to be happy, which is not accurate. To be honest, you don't need anyone else, you only need yourself. As my mother always used to say "You have to love yourself first, before you can love someone else," and she's right. Until a person truly understands what it means to make themselves a first priority before searching for a partner then they will struggle with self love. The reason I say this is because if you don't love yourself then how will you know how to love someone else? That is the million dollar question.

5. Knowing your worth.

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The golden rule is "Knowing your worth is key to loving yourself." If a person have confidence in themselves then their self-esteem will be higher. If self-esteem is present then they will not allow other people to treat them in a negative manner. Therefore, they are practicing self care/self love.

I want you to make it your number one priority to find your self love, then go out there in the world and love. One day you will find your soulmate who will cherish you for who you are, and they will love your imperfections as much as they love you. Otherwise, don't settle and certainly don't accept anyone who doesn't respect you because your life is a precious gift and should be treated as such.

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