I grew up a people pleaser. May not have always been successful, but I sure thought I was being a martyr for it. Always giving up what I wanted to keep them happy. Yeah, we know it was really more for validation and a boost to self – acceptance. When I worked my first full time job (was there almost ten years), I pretty much gave away my life in my twenties because I was there so often. I didn’t do a critical thing when I got home from college and came back to my home town. What I didn’t do was rebuild my community circle. I knew a lot of people, but they had all moved on while I was away. Sure, we saw each other and exchanged the pleasantries but my peers were getting married, starting families, involved in their own jobs and that kind of thing. So life for me became work and home. At least I learned how to cross stitch in that period.
But after reading Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take Time for Your Life”, I learned her principles about doing just that. Taking time for me and slowing down enough to find out what that meant.
Cheryl has stated that the things to contemplate are:
1) You think “selfish” is a dirty word. Believe me, I finally started doing better with this one when I started trying. Although, lately I find myself falling in that trap again because of guilt not participating enough or holding back my gifts or seeing such a need and there goes that martyr thing ago. They need me. None of the above even needs to be true. It just needs to be an authentic calling that I answer. Not guilt or pity or anything else.
2) Your schedule does not reflect your priorities. I use to let work take over my life. But not only did it not reflect my priorities, I really hadn’t taken the time to establish what they were. I mean I wasn’t married or had kids, home just seem to take care of itself. I was in my parents house and then my first small apartment. I think when I finally moved into my condo, I just allowed things to go from there. I kept it picked up but the repairs over time came, the dust bunnies definitely did and then my allergies. I did what was expected of me but I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
3) You feel drained by people, places, and things. I just wasn’t choosing things for me or finding my passion. I was just letting others lead me or I was in isolation. Maybe content for some of the time but depressed a lot for others. It took time to find the energy that made me smile. Photography did that. Recognizing how to help others and it was authentic. Knowing when to say no and when to mean yes.
4) You feel drained by money. We have all been there. The budget is tight and the pocketbook is pretty empty. Seeing others with their commercial success, travel, homes, cars, boats, etc. Letting envy bump authentic happiness.
5) Adrenaline has become your main source of fuel. Finding we are up way too early and go to bed way too late.
6) You’re missing a supportive community in your life. (This one hit me hard because it caused a lot of imbalance in my life). I felt isolated. I felt disconnected from others. And I was really lacking a lot of like-minded people when I finally was around others.
7) Your spiritual well being gets last place in your busy life. I was working so much that instead of going to church every week, I was only going a few months a year. I am in my church choir which feeds my soul when I sing. Sure there are days I wish my boyfriend and I were off on a road trip, but I notice all too often when I skip church that my week just feels like it is lacking something.
I am worthy. I use to feel I was not. I take priority because I said so. I have to. Who else will if I don’t.