Finding a balance between selfish and selfless.
This morning, I stepped foot on my yoga mat for the first time in three months. It has been four weeks since I went for a run. To some, this may seem insignificant. But to me, it is hard to even write this for others to read.
When someone passes away, I often find that their obituary includes praise of their character. "She was kind, smart, and selfless." Selfless. She was "selfless."
I came home from college in May with a list of goals for the summer. Being the goal-oriented person I am, I literally wrote down what I was "dedicating" my summer to: health, self-love, and self-improvement. At first, I stayed consistent to my dedications. I was training for a 5K and running at least twice a week, I bought a new yoga class pass, I was journaling almost daily, and I made an effort to meal-prep and cook most of my food at home.
Then, I started working 40 hours a week. Within days, everything I was working for went almost forgotten. The last run I went on was my 5K. I would sign up for yoga classes and cancel. I put down any book I tried to read. I would think about blogging and end up convinced I "had nothing to say."
Why was it suddenly so easy for me to lose sight of my goals? Why did the things that are inherently most important to me get pushed to the back burner? It has always been important to me to give to those in need. Giving my time, energy, and love has always seemed more valuable than giving money. Up until recently, having my obituary saying I was "selfless" was something I would have strived for.
But when you are not taking care of yourself, when you put your own needs and goals for self-improvement to the side, you cannot give others your best because, simply put, you are not your best. It is so important - if not essential to your prolonged wellness - to be selfish sometimes. You absolutely cannot selflessly help others without first taking care of yourself and working on your body, spirit and mind. When I stopped nourishing my body and soul, suddenly I felt like the rest of my life was malnourished too. The fire I feel when I'm working for things I'm passionate about went out.
I want to be known as someone who is self-full. Someone who understands the potential of their contribution to this world and does not take it lightly. Someone who values that potential enough to put themselves first.
Selfish and selfless have opposite connotations, but they both create unrealistic expectations. Let's find the middle ground.
Just living, learning + loving and writing some of it down along the way. Senior + Director of Panhellenic Recruitment at Elon University in North Carolina. Currently interning + curating social for some badass clients at SFW in Greensboro, NC. Yogi, sightseer, shopaholic, foodie, writer.
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