Doing For Yourself
Here’s a question for you, “What are you doing for yourself?” It can be easy to justify our sacrifices for the benefit of others, but how does this make us feel? Are we ignoring our needs because we are too busy giving our “all’ to those around us?
We often think that by giving ourselves to others sooner or later we will reach higher levels of spirituality. Yet if we continue behaving this way, we may have nothing left for ourselves.
True, many great teachers advise sacrifice as a way to realize one’s authentic self. Although what about loving ourselves? Can’t we love ourselves, then give ourselves to others? One thing I have noticed is that many people sacrifice themselves with the expectation of some kind of reward. It could be acceptance, a boost in self-worth, even the idea we have reached enlightenment.
How would our lives change if we began by learning to love ourselves, without having to sacrifice any part of who we are? In our act of self-love, our reward is our own love. How often have we sacrificed our time for others only to see this time wasted by those we intended to help? When we realize this, we are emotionally hurt, vowing to try harder next time. We can chase that behavior for a while before we realize we have been giving ourselves for no genuine reason.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t help within our community. I’m saying we should learn to love ourselves first. Then give of ourselves without the expectation of any reward or recognition. Loving ourselves enough to share our love without expectation or condition is the reward. When we arrive at this place of self-love, we can begin to take care of ourselves. There is no point in “Pouring from an empty cup” as the saying goes.
We return to the opening question, “what are you doing for yourself?” Are we selfish enough to make our well-being a priority? What dreams have been set aside because we have been taught to sacrifice ourselves for the benefit of others?
Recently, my wife and I have been very busy, much to do with deadlines approaching. When a friend called and mentioned there was time available to soak in the natural hot springs she owned, overlooking a creek, we didn’t hesitate.
Sure deadlines were looming, but after soaking in the hot water for over an hour, having an opportunity to watch a golden eagle fly up the creek, we were in a much healthier state of mind when we returned to the house. Had we stayed home and worked, we would have accomplished many tasks, but we knew our emotional health was important.
Taking care of ourselves does not have to be big or grand, it could be as simple as going for a walk after work, meditating, doing yoga, or finding quiet time to write in a journal. Even a quick motorcycle ride can clear away much of the noise in my head, allowing me to be more focused throughout the day.
The point is to do something for ourselves, something totally selfish without feeling guilty or ashamed for taking this time out of our busy day. Our emotional health requires us to find time for our own well-being.
We cannot worry about being judged for sitting in a hammock reading a book, or pursuing our passion. If we truly love ourselves, we will find time to do something for ourselves. This way the journey to enlightenment will be illuminated by love.
Can you find time to do something for yourself? Let me know what you think, leave a question or comment below. I’m always interested in hearing what you think.
Each week I email an article to those who have subscribed to my weekly. This week I wrote about judgement. Here is an excerpt.
Judgement leaves little room for understanding. Those we judge may be doing better today than they were in the past. We may never know the difficulties they have overcome to be where they are now. As long as we maintain judgement in our consciousness we will never see the entirety of a person.
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A bit of news. My wife and I are in the process of moving from beautiful Colorado to the high grasslands of Southern Arizona. Colorado has been amazing to us, meeting many great people, discovering a part of ourselves we didn’t know existed, along with strengthening our relationship. I am forever grateful for those who helped us call Colorado home.
I will continue to write my weekly, my blog, my column for Conscious Shift Magazine as well as continuing to working on my next book. I’ll keep you posted, but for now, I’m somewhere between Colorado and Arizona.
In the June issue of Conscious Shift Magazine you will find my article,
“Handcuffs” Do we handcuff ourselves from living the best life possible because of our limiting beliefs?
Click the link to read more.
Check out Conscious Shift Magazine, a great resource for guidance and inspiration.
To purchase a copy of my books, “Your Inner Guidance, The Path to Discovering Your True Happiness”, or “A Complete Life, Discovering Your Authentic Self,” click the link to make your purchase. https://linktr.ee/paulhudon
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Peace and Well-Being, Paul
Copyright Paul Hudon 2023