Allowed to Breathe

selfish 5

Oh, if I had a dollar for everytime I’ve heard that lately…

Now, when I first started hearing it, I was worried.  I was afraid that I was letting circumstances get to me and turn me into someone I’m not.  But now that a little more time has passed, I’m starting to realize that it’s actually quite the opposite.  Yes, the circumstances are getting to me.  But they are actually turning me into someone I AM.  And, as it turns out, some people don’t really like that.  But you know what?

I do.

See, I’ve always been a people pleaser.  I think a lot of us are like that really.  It’s just easier to go with the flow…”Oh, it doesn’t matter where we eat – you choose”  “No, it’s ok if you have other plans, I didn’t really need anyone to go with me anyway – I’ll go alone.” “Oh, there’s only one [insert item here] left?  Sure, you take it, I didn’t want it anyway.”  Ya know, stuff like that.  And to an extent, that’s a great way to be (especially for us mommies – it’s ingrained in us.)  But if you’re not careful, those little things start turning into bigger things.  “Oh, you think I’m not a good person?  Well, since I’m so used to deferring to your judgment, you must be right about that.  So, I’m going to believe what you say.”

That, my friend, is not cool.

And sometimes, something happens in your life that shakes you up.  It makes you start realizing that maybe, just maybe, you have slipped over into that mindset.  And you start thinking that maybe you need to do something about that.

For me, that time is now.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I understand fully where my naysayers are coming from.  I’ve been there myself.  I’ve watched the non-people pleasers before and may have had those same thoughts – that they’re being selfish by putting themselves first.

Oooh.  Now, there’s the magic word, isn’t it?  Selfish.  (Yep – I’ve been hearing that one a lot lately too.)

And here’s one of my favorite things I’ve seen on that topic:

selfish 2

Let that sink in for a minute.

What good are you to anyone else if you’re not strong enough?  If you’re not allowed to breathe?

Are you really helping anyone by always staying in the background, by taking the crumbs that are left behind rather than jumping in there and getting a full piece of bread for yourself?  You absolutely HAVE to find out who you are, what you want, what you like – and then DO IT.  You never know who you might inspire by doing just that.  And isn’t that what we’re really here for?  To help each other?  To let our short little wisp of time here serve as an example?  How do you want to be remembered?

And on that note, to counter the naysayers, I’ve also received some compliments that have surprised me.  I’ve had people that I didn’t even think ever paid any attention to me or knew me at all, send me messages that I am inspiring them with how I’ve started writing and how I’m showing others that they’re not alone through those writings.  Those are the people that I’m choosing to listen to.  The ones who have told me that I’ve changed probably are just the ones that aren’t benefitting from the way I used to be.  And you know what?  I’m not sorry about that.  Not one little bit.

selfish 3

So, who are you choosing to please today?

Or better yet  –  who are you giving your oxygen mask to?  Hmmm?

Become who you are.  No more living in others’ shadows.  Got it?

***

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: but it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.
We must be hatched or go bad.
– C.S. Lewis

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