Friday, October 2, 2015

Take Care Of Yourself

Many years ago I thought that if I did everything for everyone that expected me to do things for them, I was some kind of nice person.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that to exhaust one's self is really not the best you can give to others.

Sitting in a group session, the therapist asked us if we were at a banquet and there was only one chair left but our self and one other person had not been seated, what would we do?  Everyone went around the room and had differing viewpoints of what they would do.

I remember when it got to me and of course I responded enthusiastically that I would let the other person have the seat at the banquet table.  Why would I take it?  That would be selfish and mean.  After all, I put others before my own needs because that is what I thought I should do (or what I had been taught).

The only thing is that if you constantly put others ahead of your own needs, you will deplete yourself.  If you don't nourish your body, mind, and soul, how can you truly be there for other people?

It is not noble to deny yourself what you need to sustain life, whether that is time off, sleep, food or a refreshing walk alone.  It is not noble to treat yourself as a second class person while elevating others up to a status much higher than yourself.

Finding balance in one's life by taking care of the self so that you are strong and rested and able to help others, is what is required in life.  By taking care of yourself, you are there in a much more stronger and available way to help others lift themselves up.  By taking care of yourself, it is your way of modeling to others the best heights they can reach for in their own lives.

We show others what is important by how we live our own life.  If we are showing others that we don't take care of ourselves, are we creating dependent people on us that will use us and toss us away when we are consumed?  If we don't take care of ourselves, how long will it be before we are no longer able to be there for others because we have exhausted every inch of our being.

Yes, I struggle with this even to this day.  I will put the needs of others over myself and never understand where to draw the line and say "no".  I will completely exhaust myself to help others or do what is expected.  Yet, I know that in order for me to do the most good, I must learn to take care of myself.  I hope you will do the same as well.

Blog Post And Images (c) 9/1/15 by Don Shetterly

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Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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