Lately, my life has been filled with taking care of everyone else. I don’t admit this as a complaint. It is a fact. I have always derived happiness and purpose from taking care of others; however, lately, I feel like I have forgotten what it is like to be a person with a purpose all their own.
For me, the most difficult part of getting that purpose back is dealing with the feelings a guilt that come attached to wanting to do something for yourself. Telling those around you that you are too busy to help them, all of a sudden, often feels awkward. I find myself apologizing over and over again.
Should I be apologizing for wanting to do something for myself? No. The people around me know, maybe somewhere tucked in the back of their heads, that I have goals of my own. When I bring it up, they often can’t understand why I chose that moment to say I can’t help them.
I have often fallen into the trap of just one more. Of course, I don’t want to make their lives more difficult, so I tell myself I will do just this one last thing, over and over again. Often I am just as at fault as they are.
Recently, I have been forcing myself, almost kicking and screaming, to assert myself. One of my greatest fears is that at the end of my life, I have helped everyone else achieve their goals, but never had time for my own. I have moved my own goals up in the priority list. I am setting boundaries, some more firm than others.
Not everyone is happy with my newfound determination. I still find myself apologizing far too often. I know I can’t change my own nature. I do enjoy helping people. I have just been lacking balance, and I know it is something that I will continue to struggle with. At least if I am struggling with it, I know I am thinking about my own needs too. I must feel okay helping myself just like I do others.