Get in a habit of giving, that they forget to take care of themselves.
I think it's great that people are so giving, but at the same time, I'm going to encourage you to do a little more for you NOW. It'll make a BIG DIFFERENCE in YOUR LIFE!!!
I was so busy "taking care of" everyone else, trying to make things better for them, trying to make them feel happy & loved... that I was completely neglecting myself. I felt as if my happiness didn't really matter to them.... otherwise they'd see that they kept me so very busy all the time, that I never got to be a REAL PERSON. This was totally MY FAULT, because it was me who kept pushing myself back to the end of the list. I believed that if I could "make them feel happy & loved" then I would finally get to feel happy & loved too! I would have the time to do the things I wanted to do, without feeling guilty for not giving them ALL of my attention. I cared for them so much... truly I did... but I didn't realize how dead I was inside because of it. I thought it was obvious to everyone... how much I was sacrificing in my constant attempts to help them feel better, happy & loved. I gave and gave... the more I gave to them... the more I neglected myself. I was constantly looking forward to the time when... ________.
but that time never seemed to come. Years went by... I had never truly taken a REAL VACATION, to go sit somewhere I didn't know a single person... somewhere I WANTED to go... without there being a function or reason behind the trip. Yet I watched others do these things... even those who I had spent so much time helping... it made me feel angry inside, because "WHEN IS IT GONNA BE MY TURN?"
Even when I could do it... it was the money thing. I would give someone my last twenty bucks, but when there was extra, I couldn't see "wasting it" on something I couldn't physically own... like a vacation!
A client asked me an uncomfortable question one day...
Q.) "what do you do for fun Jen?"
A.) "I hang out with my Husband and kids."
Q.) "yes, but what do you do for fun when it's just you?"
A.) "ummm... what do you mean? I work."
Q.) "Jen, what do you do for fun when you are alone & you aren't working?"
A.) I had no answer to this question... what came out was, "I work!"
Q.) "Jen, what are your hobbies?"
A.) Again, I had no answer to this question... what came out was, "I work & take care of my family."
Q.) "Jen, seriously now, if you don't want to answer my questions, just say so! hahaha"
A.) I stood there feeling lost.... these questions made me feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE... because I had no answers. I wanted to cry & say, "I can't do things for me... I take care of everyone else. I try to make them happy... but no matter what I do, they are never happy anyway. They are miserable & angry people & they don't care that I've given them everything I have to give...it's never enough, they seem angry with me when I have nothing left to give them... they take it personally when I try to take time for me, because that takes time away from them."
A sudden realization... I had not been LIVING my life. I had spent my life DOing for others, I gave what I had to them & worked harder & longer to earn more.... to give to them too. I was at the point that I worked all the time, when I wasn't working.... I had to focus upon them to make them less angry at me for working too much. When I worked less, they were still angry about the time I hadn't spent with them & also because I wasn't earning enough. It was a lose/lose situation, which had progressively gotten worse! The more I tried to make it better, the worse it got!
I realized I had to take time for me! I was miserable, I felt like I wasn't a real person, I felt dead inside... because I had never taken the time TO LIVE. The result, my loved ones felt personally hurt & neglected when I took time for myself. I tried to explain it, how all these years had slipped passed me before realizing that LIFE was meant to LIVE today... because tomorrow was always tomorrow! I didn't even know who I was or what I really liked to do... it had been so long since I had done something that didn't involve another person. I had a lifetime of fearful questions built up inside... I needed to find the answers. There was a strong sense of urgency, as if my life depended upon it. Quite literally, I think it did!
I gave up alot of sleep for awhile, searching for those answers, while trying to continue meeting my responsibilities. I found answers, but that uncovered a bunch more questions I didn't know were there! Apparently, my habit of putting myself last had resulted in stacking my fearful questions on top of each other, creating many levels of hidden questions that seemed to suddenly appear. My loved ones didn't always see my quest for answers as a good thing... they didn't seem to understand how important this was to me or how scared I was inside of the strong "keep it together" exterior I had always showed them. I felt as if I was fighting for my life! It seemed that the more I focused upon myself, the more they felt personally hurt by it. When they would voice those things, they would say how they wanted the "old me" back. I don't think they realized what a horrible thing they were saying. They wanted the "dead me" back? The one who only lived to try to please them... even though I failed miserably. They were saying they wanted me to stop living & only be their servant. They were saying they wanted me to make them happy. They were saying they wanted me to make them feel loved.
Why? I had done that for years, it didn't work... it only got worse! I didn't feel loved or happy either, who was bending over backwards to make me feel that way?
I certainly had not been, neither had they!!!
By this time, I could see that had been the problem all along.... I had not taken the time to make myself feel happy or loved. Those feelings must come from within before they can be shared with others. No wonder I had failed so miserably in trying to make them feel better! I couldn't give them something which I didn't have to give.
Later another realization came... I couldn't give them something they didn't already find inside of themselves. We each have to take time for ourselves, to seek out the answers to those fearful questions, to find out who we are, get to know our own self, establish a relationship with self, fall in love with self, to find happiness just being in our own skin.
I learned why it's so important to place a HIGH VALUE on ME!
Because "I AM" the most important person in my life!
Without me... I can't have anyone or anything else.
Without me... I can't live.
Without me... I can't love.
I feel like I had been in some sort of a coma my whole life. The difference now? I'm AWAKE! I'm ready to LIVE!!! I'm excited & grateful to be ALIVE!!!
Is this what they would call a mid-life crisis? If it is, then I highly suggest it to everyone! Even more so, I suggest NOT falling into the bad habits I had... to wake up one day realizing you haven't lived yet. No matter how old or young you are... PLEASE, Do yourself a favor.... Take time for YOU.... Place yourself HIGH on the list.... BE the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in your Life. Take time to EXPLORE you, GET TO KNOW you, FALL IN LOVE with you.
LIVE YOUR LIFE TODAY because...
Tomorrow Will ALWAYS Be TOMORROW!
Am I sorry to those in my life who were hurt or offended by
my sudden interest in myself?
Honestly, I am sorry I didn't do it earlier and I am sorry that they didn't understand & felt hurt by it. Another thing I have learned is that people often FEAR Change. Whatever is feared, cannot be seen clearly. Situations are made worse by remaining too afraid to even look. Situations are also made worse by keeping old hurts, anger & resentment, because they are constantly being added to the present moment... added by the one who kept it, often resulting in more "perceived hurt" to keep! I know their perceived hurt is very real to them... MY perceived hurt was very real to me too! I have learned that I can't change others or their perceptions, I can only change myself.
I stopped feeling imprisoned by the "perceived hurt" of others, because it is "they" who chose to keep those old hurts and add it to their experiences with me. Those hurts are theirs to face & release. Those old hurts will be with them, infecting their experiences with everyone until they finally do. The result is more struggle in their life, repeating the same cycle over and over again.... until they finally realize that they are not the victim and accept their own kept hurt, unforgiving nature & fearful beliefs have been the cause of their life struggles. I took responsibility for my life, I chose to look directly at my fears and challenge them. I chose to release my old hurts. I chose to forgive those who haven't yet done the same. People only hurt others because they are hurting inside of themselves. That's the truth I've discovered underneath all conflicts, big or small. I could not remain feeling hurt or angry with anyone after realizing that truth. It's a truth everyone will someday know.
Perceived Hurt? This is another topic completely, which I will write more about SOON! In the meantime, please read my poem on this topic, called: Discovering Seeds, listed under category: Poetic Lessons.
Please leave a comment below to let us know you were here... Thanks!
May your eyes be opened, so you may find Lasting PEACE & LOVE has Always Been With & Within YOU!
Article written by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT