Selfish. As society calls it. Taking care of yourself. Protecting your time. Saying no when it doesn’t feel right or personally necessary, when it doesn’t feel energizing or relaxing, purposeful or fun. Working out. Spending money on fitness memberships and quality food. Seeing a counselor, psychologist, or consultant. Optimizing your time with self-care practices rather than busy work and social requests. All, pure selfishness.
Many of us have personal beliefs and distortions that encourage us to run ourselves into the ground and then wonder why we feel miserable when we try to give ourselves fully to our careers, our kids, and our relationships.
We believe in going to work sick, checking emails immediately upon waking to privy ourselves to stressful updates, ending the day with a list of what we didn’t accomplish and then ruminating on how we should have done something differently.
We believe in putting our kids above all else, to the point of sacrificing our sanity and our well-being. We choose to be the martyr because how dare we be selfish. We become self-sacrificing sufferers, that feel guilty due to the fact that putting everyone first isn’t actually making us feel good, as it should. We find ways to self-medicate and develop soothing addictions, we take on traits such as fat and tired, we complain and gossip, and this becomes our norm.
We put our careers above all else. Especially as entrepreneurs, we give every spare moment and waking hour to our venture. It’s actually like a kid —so see above. The health of the business, growth of the business, far outweighs the health and growth of the human being that is creating and developing this money-driven entity.
Sixteen hour days filled with business grind, convenience food, lack of purposeful movement, reactivity instead of thoughtful response and mindfulness, and rushing give way for happy kids and thriving careers to emerge.
I don’t disagree. This works. Our society is built on this. Literally look at the industries that have been flourishing for the past 20+ years; fast food restaurants, convenience foods, alcohol, quick-fix diets, time saver gadgets and fads, etc. Consumerism leads us. More of everything, upgrading every physical thing around us.
Though, why are we not just upgrading ourselves?
I don’t want to be the martyr. I’m not seeking to be a mother living for nothing besides my child’s happiness. I don’t want to be the millionaire mogul whose main source of connection and happiness is money.
I don’t want to slow down one day and think, what the fuck happened to me? Who am I? What am I living for? Why am I fifty pounds overweight and taking meds for high blood pressure and diabetes? Why can’t I keep up? Where did my energy go? Why am I so negative? Where did that happiness, and easy feeling go? Why am I no longer leading a light-hearted, inspired life? What has this constant striving and self-sacrificing led me to?
Heightened awareness steps in. You see your life, and the lives of those being lived around you, outside of your bubble. You get objective, and you realize it’s not selfish at all. It’s essential. You are the most imperative thing in your life. Your health, your happiness, your mentality, your physical well-being. Because you are the one creating, developing, raising, and giving to your enterprises [be it family or business]. Do you want to give to these most precious endeavors a rock from the gravel pit? That’s easy. There are probably a trillion rocks to give. And they are being given every day. Or do you want to offer up a diamond? Something of value and beauty. An essence that took commitment and self-care to create. When you give in that way, what you give is so much more. And do you not, yourself, feel so much better giving the gorgeous gift of a diamond to your colleagues and children instead of just throwing a rock at their feet, because that’s simply all you’ve got?