I've spent a lot of time since my near-death experience in October thinking about priorities. I've realized I had a strong tendency to put everyone else's needs before my own.
My top priority at all times now is placing my own needs, especially my health, mental well being and time, above the needs of others. After all, how can I help improve the lives of others if I'm not first taking care of myself and living by positive example.
This reprioritizing has created a some ill feelings among my friends and family. No one likes to lose their top spot for something lower. But, I clearly discovered who the takers are in my life and now I decide when to give. It's very freeing.
I'm so with you on this, Gregory.
I didn't have a near death experience, (I'd love to hear about yours though!) but I was completely stunned when I was diagnosed with multiple uterine fibroids. My stomach problems were out of control as well, and I realized something had to change. I realized in that moment, that what had to change was me.
I had made my life into something that served only other people. What they wanted from me and how I could manifest it for them was my reason for living. I earned my certification in life coaching just before my diagnosis, so that I could help people along toward their bliss, but there I was a total mess. I had to face that I wasn't following my own bliss at all, but more obsessed with others finding theirs. So I stopped. I stopped everything and got very, very quiet. My new priority in life was to take care of me. To give to myself all of the nurturing I was giving to everyone else. Finally, I came first, and everyone else took their respective place.
I stopped playing the destructive games my family members were playing. I stopped dancing for other people's approval. I entered into acupuncture and massage therapy to accompany my regular therapy. I discovered the Tao. My healing had truly begun, because I really started caring for myself. During my healing period, I learned that I was a writer. I allowed myself the time and space to write. I started with poetry - one of my poems (a haiku) was accepted to appear in the summer edition of Muse! I began writing a novel, then got accepted here at BellaOnline. (A bow of deepest thanks to you, Lisa and your goal of helping others.) I thought it was perfect, as I could still assist others in their healing, as I learn and progress with my own healing. I recently finished the first draft of my novel, and am beginning a new one!
By making myself top priority, I have discovered who I really am, what I can give to myself, and what I can afford to give to others. I understand my own boundaries, how to be present in the moment and to always do my best - even if my best today isn't as top form as my best was yesterday. At 46, I have never been so at peace with myself.
I finally understand what it is to love
myself, and have that be my truth - the finest thing I have to offer.