Yes, you read that right. Sometimes, it IS about YOU! Society teaches us to to put others first. We are taught at a young age to put others first and to only think about those around us. If you grew up in church, especially a Southern Baptist Church, you were taught the prayer model of JOY. This means you repent and thank the Lord for blessings. You then pray for those around you and finally you pray for things you need. We are taught that putting ourselves before others is selfish. We are told that our thoughts and opinions should take a back seat to those around us.
There are times when we need to take a step back and care for those around us. There are times when a family member or friend are in crisis and they need us to be strong. As parents, we often put our kids first and ourselves on the back burner. This is not necessarily a bad thing, BUT I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely OK to put yourself first every now and then. Sometimes you NEED to put yourself first. Sometimes you NEED to let others know that your opinion is valid. Sometimes you NEED to let others know that while you love them, you really can’t be there for them and that you are taking a step back.
Your opinion IS valid. What you think matters. I will give you a semi petty example of this. At this point I have 2 kids in our county school system and our 3rd will join them next year. On the county school page there was debate going on over a proposed change. A parent said that because I was a newer parent to our district that my opinion didn’t count. Honestly, the issue isn’t a hill I want to die on. That being said, my opinion does matter and it is just as valid as hers. How many times, when it comes to larger issues, have we allowed another person to tell us that our opinion doesn’t matter? How many times have we shut our mouths and walked away, even though it really was a big deal for us? How many times have you felt that you aren’t experienced enough or good enough to have your opinion count? It’s acceptable for you to share what it is you think and allow your voice to be heard.
Your past experiences DO matter. There are times in the valley for all of us. While our valleys may not be as low as others, it doesn’t mean that your emotions and experiences are any less valid. Yes, your valley may have seemed a little easier to another person, but that doesn’t mean you were really walking on a plateau. How many times have you shared a valley experience and had another person tell you “it really wasn’t that bad,” or “That person had it much worse than you and you should be thankful that it wasn’t as bad.” It stinks to be told your emotions aren’t valid and you shouldn’t feel a certain way. It’s acceptable to stand up for your emotions and let others know your past experiences count.
Taking time to care for yourself is important. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will eventually lose steam and crash.There are times when you need to take a step back from your activities and take time for yourself. It could mean it’s time to find a counselor you trust to talk through and process whatever the situation may be. It may also be time to take a trip to your PCP to have a conversation about an anti-anxiety, an anti-depressant or some sort of mood stabilizer. It could also be doing something as simple as signing up for a class at the gym, or a class in another area that interests you. Sometimes you NEED to take care of yourself and you need to be honest with your spouse, or inner circle about what it is you need. If you don’t speak up for yourself, how will those around you know what you need.
This post flies in the face of what most of us have been taught. Remember there were times Jesus went off to be by Himself. He needed time alone. There were other times when He went off with just Peter and John. Time alone and time with your closest, inner circle is not a bad thing. You just need to brave enough to speak up for what it is you need.
There are times when it IS about YOU!!!