The Importance of Self

Written by Angela Atkinson

As a mom and wife, I tend to put myself and my own needs second, third…and so on. It’s a necessary evil when one becomes a parent, and that’s ok. It only becomes a problem when one forgets about one’s self entirely, and no longer makes any effort to care for her emotional, physical, and intellectual needs.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. Life can just get in the way, and one can simply forget to take care of herself. Or, the people one surrounds herself with can become so dependent on her, and so used to being put first, that she might find herself unable to do what she needs to do because they require too much of her time and attention. She may find herself feeling guilty for even desiring time and space for herself.

The unfortunate thing about this conundrum is of course that in the process of raising a family or whatever distracts one from nurturing one’s self, it’s possible to lose the self completely.

Personally, I have become so involved in my family’s daily life, and in the activities and needs of the individuals within it, that I have been failing to take care of my own needs. I no longer even make a serious attempt to get time or space for myself, because each time I’ve tried, it’s been shot down by one thing or another. I have, in a sense, given up. Also, when I’ve attempted to make my emotional or intellectual needs known, they are frequently minimized by the members of my family, and that can feel incredibly frustrating. As a result, in order to avoid conflict as often as possible, I find myself not fighting about it any longer. I may casually toss out the idea that I need a break, or want to take a class, or want to go have coffee with my friend, but inevitably I’m told that it’s not a convenient time, or that it is simply not an acceptable arrangement, and I pretend that I was kidding, and move on.

I suppose the point of all this is simple. It seems that in the day to day of it all, I’ve somehow managed to lose myself and haven’t bothered to make any effort to remedy the situation.

However, that changes today. I am standing up for myself, my needs, my desires. This doesn’t mean that I’ll become less committed to my family, simply that I will include my SELF higher on my list of priorities.

The self, after all, is what one is born with, and the only thing left when one passes on. If one doesn’t nurture the self, one cannot achieve one’s full potential. I’m thirty three years old, and I am not getting any younger. It occurs to me that unless I stand up for myself, and take what I deserve, I will never have it. In all these years, no one has done it for me. So now, it’s time to follow my dreams, to focus on me just a bit. Now it’s time to demand the respect I deserve, and to give that very respect to myself. I deserve it, and I’m worth it. That’s right folks, I said it. I deserve it. I’m worth it.

How about you?

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