Sometimes the nicest thing you can ever do is to finally step back and be nice to yourself. For the longest time, this was my kryptonite. I couldn’t stand the idea of doing something just for myself; everything I did had to be done to help someone else or to ease someone else’s suffering. The idea of doing something good for myself seemed so selfish.
So I spent the first twenty years of my life existing primarily to make things easier on other people. I enjoy helping people, it’s a great feeling, but I was taking it way too far. I was helping others at the expense of my own happiness. It left me strung-out, exhausted, and miserable.
Learning to take care of my own happiness first has been a continuous project for the last few years. In many ways, I’m still working on it. It became so engrained in me that I will react instinctively and only realise afterward that I’m doing something that doesn’t provide any benefit for me. I’m still working on it, but I’ve made progress.
I’ve cut people out of my life that were only making me unhappy, people that I had been afraid to cut out before for fear of hurting their feelings.
I’ve stopped saying yes to everything even when it’s something I really don’t want to do.
The truth is there’s a significant difference between being self-centred and being selfish. Self-centred people know to put themselves first when they can and then reach out to others from that point of self-sufficiency. Selfish people start at a point of putting themselves first but then their energy spreads and consumes around them, sucking everything in until it’s all about them and never about others.
It will always be a struggle and a work in progress, but the nicest thing I’ve ever done in my life was to finally stop being so damn nice to everyone and start being kind to myself.
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