For many years I thought that taking care of my own needs was “selfish”, that “helping” others was the most altruistic and noble thing to do with the only consequence that I’ve started neglecting myself.
Not only I was pleasing and putting first work, friends and family but I’ve also found myself not able to say NO such as during those times when I attended dinners, meetings or social events that in reality I didn't want to attend at all!
So many times I neglected myself for the fear of not being enough or not having enough, which led me to say YES when instead what I was feeling was a big NO...
I grew up saying YES to everything and everyone except to myself and, without realizing it, I have been left metaphorically and physically with nothing. I began to feel exhausted and resentful, every YES I said to someone turned into a NO that I was saying to myself.
Has it ever happened to you? Have you experienced that feeling of "duty" towards others but not towards yourself? Almost as if your value depended on how much more you can "give" or "do" in your relationship, in your workplace or in your personal life with your family, children and friends.
It is an exhausting situation that many of us face sooner or later in life.
Several painful falls along with a Mindfulness practice have taught me that what we need is exactly the opposite: it’s only when my cup is full that I have the energy, the love and the will to be in service of others. Not when I neglect myself and have nothing to offer.
How can I be patient and compassionate with others if I am not with myself?
How can I be creative and efficient if I don't have a mental space that allows it?
How can I be loving and tender if I don't give myself the physical spaces to feed that part of me?
The only way back requires to LOVE yourself and take the necessary SPACE to listen to your inner voice and follow your innate wisdom.
It is creating an inner pause to honor your desires and needs before others’.
It's the difficult task of saying NO when you know someone is going to be disappointed and yet choose yourself over and over again… a task that sometimes may involve leaving behind friends, jobs and beliefs that do not support your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
I invite you to pause and internally answer the following questions:
How do you feel right now? Are you tired or full of energy?
How much quality time do you dedicate to yourself - time that you spend doing what you love?
What action can you carry out today to fill your cup?
Remember that you are allowed to ask for support =)
“The most important time in the world is the time you make for yourself.”