Putting Yourself First

Putting Yourself First

 

Today I want to discuss something that I have (and still do) struggle with – putting myself first.

This post will be pretty personal, but if my testimony can be an encouragement to just one person out there, this post has out-served its purpose.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to serve others and have always put myself last. As I got older and started to read more self-help articles and listen to the mainstream advice of “don’t be selfish,” I took it to heart; a little too much.

I started every morning planning out my day and trying to figure out everyone else’s. While I was studying or at the movies with a friend, I’d worry if my mom needed my help with laundry or if I needed to call to check in on a family member that I hadn’t talked to for a week.

I’d worry if I added to any stress they may or may not already have; I worried that because I wasn’t right there 24/7 that something would go wrong and it would be my fault.

The thing is, the people I’m referring to are very independent and do not need someone to live their lives for them.

I just felt like I had to be serving someone every second of every day or I’d be deemed “selfish” and “conceded.”

After about 3 years of this constant weight that I was truly putting on myself, I was mentally and physically starting to feel the side effects. I was tired after 8+ hours of sleep, couldn’t get a cup of coffee big enough to carry me past noon, and felt like I had a huge weight on my shoulders when in all reality things were going good.

The weight was something I put on myself; no one else.

The weight was something I felt I needed to have in order to be qualified a “giving” person.

So after my family talking to me, lots of prayer, and realizing that I need to love myself just as much as I love others, I started taking the first steps in the right direction.

 

For example, last night I got home after a long day of errands; I got in my comfy clothes and proceeded to my office where I sat for 20 minutes and stared at the screen, trying to make sense of my inbox. I had over four hundred emails and a blog post that needed to be scheduled to go up.

After 20 minutes had passed, I decided that I needed to take the rest of the night off. It was already past 9 PM and I was exhausted. So, I turned off my laptop (something I need to do more often than actually I do) and headed to my bed.

This is not anywhere near the usual time I go to bed, but this time I didn’t listen to my schedule – I listened to my body. I crawled in my bed and snuggled with my dog whilst watching Netflix. Normally, I’m working on something while I “relax.” So, to fully take time to just sit and be was so nice. During this time I didn’t worry about what other’s were doing or if they were okay. This may sound so harsh and please know that I don’t mean it in that context. I always have and always will care about others and the people in my life. But, I’m learning to stop worrying about how I could fix their problems. God is in control of every person’s life, not me. Giving the control over to Him is the best thing for me to do.

A couple hours later I fell into a deep sleep and got a great night’s rest.

On this rainy Saturday I’m going to get my school, blog, and life work done, but also take time to be still.

 

Still today as I’m typing this I’m not (for lack of a better word) healed  from this issue. I still feel guilty if I’ve dedicated a whole day to myself. But, one thing I do notice is that after I do something for me, myself, and I – I can serve others better with an even more giving and genuine heart.

I have to know love to myself from myself in order to pass it on to others.

So, what’s the takeaway from this post?

Well… It could be quite a few things. But, for me the takeaway is that you need to love yourself and put yourself first. This does not make you selfish and you have no reason to feel guilty for doing such. You will be an inspiration to so many in this world.

 

Question time:

How do you put yourself first?

Thoughts on this topic/post?

30 thoughts on “Putting Yourself First

  1. This post really speaks to me, because I have anxiety and when things get too much, I tend to forget looking after myself and my body. Your story sounds familiar with that when you’re constantly worrying about others and forgetting to look after yourself. With management though, it definitely gets better, but we do need constant reminders! Thanks for sharing ❤

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  2. Edye you are such a lovely person – it is definitely not selfish to put yourself first and I 100% agree listen to your body not your schedule – if you need sleep you need sleep! I’m trying to learn to put myself first more, but as you say it is hard to fight against the feeling that you’re being selfish if you do even though you’re not! I don’t know if that comment made any sense haha!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

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    • Amy, your kind words put the biggest smile on my face. Thank you so much!

      Your comment made total sense. It’s nice to know that others can relate to my stance on this subject. Have a great week, pretty girl ❤

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  3. “I didn’t listen to my schedule, I listened to my body” should be quoted with a very long hash tag of (for all of the perfectionist) lol I’m actually going to add that to my sticky note wall…Great post! Never feel guilty for putting yourself first…it’s actually impossible to effectively love others as ourselves; which is the second greatest commandment, when we neglect ourselves!

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  4. lovely post girl. I find it hard to put myself first sometimes. I think learning to say no is a huge one for me. We can’t do it all- at the end of the day we need to remember to take care of ourselves!

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  5. Self-love is important. If we can’t practice self-love, we are unable to love others either. As we get older, our responsibilities increases, so it’s good to practice now than when we have children etc and start losing ourselves.

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  6. Edye, sometimes you just need to take a breath, and take time out for yourself. You need to listen to your body. I am pleased, you closed your laptop, went to bed and relaxed with your dog and watched some Netflix. You needed to do that. If you are exhausted, mentally and physically, you won’t be any good to yourself or others. You are a dynamic person, loving and caring for others so much as you do, but please try give yourself a bit of your time. Love and hugs x

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  7. Boy did this one hit home! I also crawl into bed with something work related. I used to curl up with my latest novel but haven’t indulged in that in way too long. I’m going to have to learn to let some of these self-imposed things go because the only one who really is concerned is me. I’ve had this horrible desire to “control the universe” (according to my hubby) and it’s hard to not only let go, but to admit how little control I actually have in the first place. Thanks so much for sharing this – I’m going to try to do better myself.

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    • Shelley, I’m so glad this post was an encouragement to you. I totally can empathize with how you feel and the situation you’re in. I’m so glad to hear you’re going to try and do even better for yourself and make time for you. You’re such a gem and deserve nothing but the best ❤ Happy Friday!

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