True to You

"You've got to take care of you." The wise words of a friend echoed through my head all day. When I first thought about it, I was a bit defensive. "I take care of myself," I thought. I eat, sometimes, and sleep, when I can, and..." I didn't have a very convincing argument.

I'm coming to realize that I've put myself in last place for too long. I'm a chronic people pleaser. I think I most often used the word "no" in the sentence, "no problem." It's not only that, but I really want to change the world. I want to give my time and energy to all the good causes out there. As I've said "yes" to more and more, at times I've found myself with a Herculean schedule that gives me no sense of accomplishment or goodwill, but a growing sense of resentment and apathy.

Life is all about balance and boundaries; it seems I just choose to learn the hard way. I could never live in a world where my main focus was pleasing myself or making myself look good. Yet, there is something to this taking care of you, which is so foreign yet fascinating to me. I know it's a biblical concept. I know Jesus took time away from healing people and teaching them about God to renew himself. Certainly nothing I do is as important as his job, yet sometimes I act as if I'm indispensable to those around me.

I haven't made any big changes yet. I'm still meditating on the concept. I'm trying to observe my reactions and decision making process when asked to do something. I really tend to consider everyone else's thoughts and feelings before my own. That may seem like a good Christian thing to do, and it is, if I don't leave out my feelings altogether. In the end, if I don't make a decision that I am comfortable with, no one really wins. Even God said He likes a "cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7). He doesn't want me to do anything merely because I "should" or because people will think badly of me if I don't.

A good craftsman sharpens and cares for his tools regularly. Otherwise, his handiwork suffers. So, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. But if I don't make sure my basic physical and emotional needs are met, I can't really help anyone. How can I change the world if I can't change myself?

I'm not real clear what this taking care of myself concept will lead to. I hope it leads to better health, and a better outlook on life. Of course, I still want to change the world. One step at a time.


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